Friendly for iPad Nears 1 Million Daily Active Users, Adds Chat, Photo Effects

Friendly, the unofficial Facebook tablet app that’s filled the void left by the company’s decision to hold off on launching a native iPad app, released a host of new features today including chat, camera support and photo effects.

We checked Friendly’s numbers on AppData this morning to go with this story and discovered that the app currently has just over 911,000 daily active users — and seems to be adding them at a clip of roughly 50,000 new daily actives per week.

That’s not downloads. That’s nearly a million daily actives. On a tablet.

If Apple shipped 14.8 million iPads through the end of last year, plus another estimated 6 million (according to Asymco’s Horace Dediu, who has beaten every other Apple analyst for the last four quarters) through the end of the March, that implies that about one out of every 20 to 25 iPad users opens Friendly every day. The app also has slightly more than 3 million monthly active users.

Anyway, the update today adds support for the iPad’s new front- and back-facing cameras and a profile picture editor that lets users adjust and crop their pictures. There are also some basic filters to add effects to photos. It also has birthday notifications and supports Facebook chat. Lastly, it adds newsfeed sharing, which means that iPad users can share  photos, links and videos directly from their live newsfeed.

Facebook has so far held off on releasing a native app, allowing a raft of third-party developers to build their own versions. Friendly for iPad, made by a bootstrapped company Oecoway, is by far the largest, but there are others like Facepad and Touch HD.

Oecoway co-founder Cyril Moutran recognizes the fundamental problem with building a third-party Facebook client — which is that at some point Facebook might come to market — likely with an HTML5 version optimized for tablets. In the meantime, getting to 1 million DAU on a tablet is not a bad ride.