Is Facebook looking to release its own mobile platform?

Social Network giant Facebook is reportedly working with about 80 developers to create a new mobile experience for its users. The so-called “Project Spartan” platform is HTML5-based and would be accessible through iOS’s Safari. This way, Facebook would no longer need to play the App Store game and could escape Apple’s “walled garden.”

“To use Apple’s own devices against them to break the stranglehold they have on mobile app distribution,” is what insiders say is the plan. A web app instead of a native iOS app. This brings Facebook a few advantages, mostly the possibility to implement their own payment method, Facebook Credits.

According to TechCrunch, who broke the news, Facebook’s plan is to build a platform for other developers too. Instead of submitting to the App Store and playing by Apple’s rules (and giving Apple a 30% cut of all revenue), Facebook wants to build an environment in which developers could publish apps that Apple would not allow to be on the App Store. Those new apps would be presented within the Facebook web app and could make use of Facebook’s features (such as the aforementioned Credits payment system).

At the moment, Facebook is said to be trying to get the mobile gaming developer Zynga (FarmVille, Words with Friends, Hanging With Friends and more) onto their new platform.

“Project Spartan” would not only give Facebook and other developers the option to bypass Apple’s rules, but also mean a bit more of a hassle for users. Instead of going the convenient way they’re used to, opening the App Store and pushing one button to download an app, they’d have to first go to the Facebook website in Safari and then find the app they wanted to have on there. They would also have to go this way every time they wanted to use that new app. Apple’s App Store model is mostly as successful as it is because it is the easiest way for users to access thousands of apps instantaneously, right on their device, from a source they can (and do) trust.

Facebook’s native iPhone app is highly successful and is still one of the most downloaded apps out there. And Facebook knows that. That’s why they keep developing new features for it, and other new, exciting apps like the Photo Sharing app. These plans of releasing an HTML5-based web app and platform for other developers could be a reaction to Apple’s official integration of Twitter in iOS 5, or a way to make more money form their mobile experience. We’d like to know what you think. Tell us in the comments below if you think Facebook is being a bit huffy and turning away from Apple because they didn’t get baked into the new iOS or if they’re just after the money. Also, if the new platform is coming, are you going to use it? Share your thoughts and discuss with us!

Article Via AppleInsider

I'm a writer and student from Germany, interested in all things Apple. I'm passionate about (new) technology and enjoy living in the day and age where the development of cool new things seems to be faster than my three year… Full Bio