Facebook is talking to Apple about crafting a version of its new mobile software for the iPhone, in a push to boost revenue from the growing number of users who access the social network on smaller screens.
After debuting the software, called Home, for Google Android operating system earlier this month, the operator of the world's biggest social-networking service is speaking to Apple and Microsoft about expanding to other platforms, Adam Mosseri, the director of product at Facebook, said yesterday. The talks are ongoing and nothing has been finalised.
Now that the majority of users access Facebook via mobile devices, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is looking for ways to keep them engaged longer and coaxing more advertisers to pay to place promotions. While Google's Android software powered about 70 per cent of smartphones worldwide last year, Apple's iOS operating system commanded about 21 per cent, according to Gartner.
"We've shown them what we've built and we're just in an ongoing conversation," Mr Mosseri said, referring to discussions with Apple and Microsoft.
Jen Martin, a spokeswoman Apple, declined to comment. Bill Cox, a spokesman for Microsoft, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Already, Facebook and Apple have a "great relationship," Mr Zuckerberg said when he introduced the Home software earlier this month.
"We are integrated into the operating system with them," Mr Zuckerberg said. "We have an active dialogue to do more with them."
On iPhone devices, the Home software would be tailored to what Apple prefers, Mr Mosseri said. It could look much different than the Android version.
"It may or may not be Home," he said. "We could also just bring some of the design values to the iOS app. That might be how it ends up. Or we could build just the lock screen. Maybe then it's not called Home, it's called something else."
The Home software is designed for newer Android handsets, including some made by Samsung and HTC. Home, which will have monthly updates, can be installed from Google Play, Google's online app store.
While the program will not initially have advertising, Mr Zuckerberg said promotions will be included in future updates.
"There are no ads on this yet," Mr Zuckerberg said. "I'm sure at some point there will be."
* Bloomberg News