iPad & the Facebook App Kerfuffle

Update: Facebook, the social networking company, has long been the champion of the iPhone and iPod touch, using those devices as a way to grow its presence in the mobile world. Whenever a new iPhone launched, it was always ready with a brand-new version of Facebook Mobile — whether as a web site or as an application, thanks to super-hacker Joe Hewitt. And perhaps that’s why everyone assumed that there would be a Facebook Mobile app for the iPad.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Instead, consumers are buying an app called Facebook Ultimate for $2.99 a pop. It is the eighth-most popular download at this minute and let’s just say it is horrible — or at least that’s what people who spent the money on the app are saying. The reviews of the app are universally bad and the app is getting 1.5 stars in ratings in the iTunes Store.

Given the popularity of the app, I wonder why Facebook itself didn’t release one. Have relations between the two companies cooled? Or is Facebook betting that browser-based access to the uber social network will suffice?

P.S.: Check out http://touch.facebook.com for accessing Facebook on the iPad. The web site is actually pretty awesome and is a good example of how to build a site that performs more like an app. The only thing missing in this interface might be push notifications, which are a key engagement methodology.

Update: Looks like the Facebook Ultimate app is gone for the iPad Store.