Henri Moissinac, director of mobile, Facebook
What makes him powerful: Four of the top 10 Web domains accessed via U.S. mobile devices are now social networking sites, according to mobile software applications and infrastructure provider Openwave Systems' October 2009 Mobile Insights report. Those results correspond with recent findings by the Internet Advertising Bureau, which reported a 179 percent year-over-year increase in the number of mobile handsets accessing social media sites, compared with a 10 percent increase in PC visitors to the same sites. And in the U.S., mobile social networking is virtually synonymous with Facebook--the nation's second most-visited mobile website (behind only search giant Google) according to browser development firm Opera Software. Facebook now boasts more than 65 million active mobile users worldwide, up from 20 million in late 2008.
In addition to its mobile site, Facebook offers a host of applications optimized for all major mobile operating systems, enabling users to update their status, share photos, browse News Feeds and reach out to friends wherever they go. Facebook's iPhone application consistently ranks among the App Store's most popular free downloads, while the Facebook Mobile Texts service--which allows users to receive notifications, set their status, and send and receive messages via SMS--is now available across 52 operators in 25 countries. Under the stewardship of Henri Moissinac, Facebook continues to extend its reach and influence across the mobile ecosystem--in September, Moissinac announced the launch of Facebook Connect for Mobile Web, enabling developers to add Facebook social media functionality to any app across any operating system.
While the rise and fall of rival social networking sites like Friendster and MySpace casts some doubt on Facebook's continued forward momentum, the site's growth trajectory remains impressive. As of September, Facebook is cash-flow positive, coinciding with the announcement that total membership now tops 300 million globally--that means the site is still adding about 806,000 new users each day. Facebook also is expanding into developing markets with the August introduction of Facebook Lite, a streamlined experience targeting mobile and dial-up users in geographic regions where broadband services are limited, non-existent or simply too expensive for most users. Twitter may have stolen some of its spotlight, but for now, Facebook remains the standard by which mobile social networking services are judged as well as a harbinger of personal and professional interaction in the 21st century. --Jason