MyPad and the Coming Facebook Wars on the iPad
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you want to share it with friends,” he says. “We are flipping that, so that even as you discover an app, it makes sense to share it, and bring a community of your friends with you so that you have a familiar environment.”
The regular MyPad app is free, but about 10 percent of customers opt for the ad-free $0.99 “MyPad+” version, which has been enough to make Loytr profitable, Ratias says. The startup has raised a small seed round from investors such as Coveroo founder Karl Jacob, an early advisor at Facebook; Matt Ocko, a partner at Sevin Rosen and an investor and advisor at Zynga; and Anduin Ventures, a fund established by early employees at Palantir Technologies. Technically, Loytr has outgrown its berth at Dogpatch Labs, which limits teams to four people, and will be on the move soon.
Interestingly, Ratias says he agrees with Zuckerberg that “the iPad is not particularly mobile.” He says Loytr’s traffic statistics show a 25 percent spike in usage on the weekends, his conclusion being that many users don’t have their iPads with them when they’re away from home during the week. Personally, I find that surprising—I don’t go anywhere without my iPad.
But in my mind, the question of the iPad’s mobility was never really the point. The Apple device is an indisputably wonderful platform for many tasks that formerly required a desktop browser. My own suspicion about Facebook’s foot-dragging when it comes to the iPad is that the seven-year-old company is beginning to show the first signs of what you might call platform capture. It was born on the Web, and it thinks of itself as a Web company—which means it’s in some danger of being leapfrogged by younger companies that are more attuned to today’s world of cross-platform apps. Loytr, although it only has five engineers to Facebook’s thousands, could be one of those.