Silicon Valley Firm Puts "Face" in Facebook Mobile

Social networking boosts Funambol

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kristian Dowling/Getty Images
    When you change your profile picture, Funambol's the one that lets your friends know on their handhelds.

    You know that little profile picture you see of your friends when you log onto Facebook from your smartphone? You have a Silicon Valley company to thank for that technology.

    And that Silicon Valley company has social networking to thank for its booming success.

    Redwood City-based Funambol created the code that enables Facebook, MySpace and other social network profile pictures to automatically sync with mobile phones. As people change their profile picture on a social network, their photo is updated in other people's mobile phone address books.

    Alfredo Morresi led Funambol's Code Sniper community program in creating AvatarGrabber, which tops the charts as the most popular mobile open source social networking app.
     
    The team is working to improve the software's interoperability with many systems, including Google apps, MS Exchange, Android and Mozilla Thunderbird.

    "Our community is growing rapidly because in this economy, people are increasingly turning to open source standards-based software that interoperates with all major mobile phones and desktops," said Stefano Maffulli, Funambol Community Manager. "Nobody wants to be locked into an expensive proprietary sync service. Funambol is the Switzerland of mobile sync and push e-mail, it lets users easily switch phones, desktop apps and webmail services while retaining their personal data."

    Funambol's Web site proudly displays the number of devices supported by its open source software: just under 2 billion -- and climbing by the second.

    If Funambol had a profile pic, it would surely be a smiley face.