Facebook builds universal mobile app for its 250 million mobile users

Facebook has scrapped its old approach to mobile phone social networking and has launched a brand new mobile web experience that can be used on any device.

Previously, Facebook had two mobile sites, one tailored for mobile users with a feature phone and the other could be used with smartphones with touchscreens.

But this approach has been difficult to manage and involved pandering to the lowest common denominator on each site.

"Every time we launched a new feature, we had to build it multiple times across different code bases: once for facebook.com, then again for m.facebook.com, touch.facebook.com, and in native applications as well. Honestly, we weren't very good at doing this, so certain features were missing on different devices," said Facebook product designer Lee Bryon on March 31.

Facebook developers are now using new framework based on XHP, Javelin and WURFL behind the scenes that can detect what device you are using to access the site.

Now, when one of Facebook's 250 million mobile users heads to the new m.facebook.com website on their mobile device, "users with high-end touch devices will see a rich touch-friendly interface; for users with feature phones, the site will look and work great," said Bryon.

Changes will be rolled out to all mobile users over the next few weeks.

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