Screenshot of Timelines for Facebook (click to enlarge)
Loytr, the company that makes the popular MyPad app, has once again beaten Facebook itself to the iPad. The company on Tuesday debutedTimelines for Facebook, a native app that brings the social network’s new Timeline user interface to the iPad.
“This is the only way you can interact with the new Timeline profile in your iPad,” Loytr’s CEO Cole Ratias said in a recent interview. “You can’t do it if you go to the Safari browser.”
Ratias walked me through a demo of the app, and it was a solid experience. The Timelines interface, which is heavy on photos and encourages browsing around, is uniquely well-suited to the iPad. You can use the app to flip through your friends’ Timelines alphabetically or randomly, so it’s a nice way to casually rediscover friends’ profiles that you may not have checked out in a while.
For now the app is quite basic — for instance, it doesn’t have all the extra features that MyPad has, such as the ability to post the same updates to both Facebook and Twitter through the app. Also, some of the third-party apps that incorporate with Facebook’s open graph initiative may not work so smoothly within Loytr’s new iPad app. But Ratias says that more updates are in the works, as Facebook itself continues to work out kinks with the new Timelines experience.
As far as Loytr’s flagship MyPad app goes, Ratias tells me growth and user engagement is stronger than ever, even though Facebook finally debuted its own native iPad app last month. If anything, MyPad has seen a boost in recent weeks, Ratias said: “We saw a 25 to 30 percent spike after Facebook’s own iPad app launched, while all our original competitors have fallen behind.” According to Loytr, MyPad is currently on one in four iPads — more than 8 million unique devices — with more than 25 million downloads and upwards of 2.5 million daily active users.
That success has allowed Loytr to become very stable financially. “We’ve been profitable since the day we launched,” Ratias said, noting that the company’s apps serve some 10 million ads per day. That’s more than a lot of startups can say — but when one of your competitors is Facebook itself, you can’t be too well-prepared.