September 12th, 2012

Mark Zuckerberg: “We burned Two years Betting on Mobile Web Vs. App”

This week brought strong statements from Mark Zuckerberg: The headline from the interview with Mark Zuckerberg by Forbes says “We burned Two years Betting on Mobile Web Vs. App”

This is basically what Zuckerberg did say but his real quotes according to the transcript from the interview were…
“We had to start over and rewrite everything to be native. We burned two years.”
“The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5, because it’s just not there yet. ”
“Two years ago, we decided to bet completely on HTML5. We believed that because it used the same technology as the desktop, we thought it could improve. But it wasn’t good enough. We realized the only way we could get there was to go native.”
“We want to build a system that is deeply as possible integrated into every device. We have three mobile platforms: mobile Web, Apple‘s iOS, Android.”

Finally Mark Zuckerberg promises a native Android app and “hope to have it ready soon.”

So what does this mean for HTML5?
Nothing has changed. Facebook has simply made the same conclusion as most other developers with a lot of experience of native and HTML5.
Our position has always been that…

  1. HTML5 is a great technology evolution for mobile web
  2. Hybrid apps (HTML5 code wrapped as native apps like current Facebook for Android) can be developed using HTML5 for a lower cost than native if you are willing to compromise on speed and User Experience
  3. If you are not willing to compromise then native is the only alternative for now if you want to deliver a great app experience
  4. HTML5 will continue to improve rapidly but so will native apps so therefore they will continue to evolve side by side for at least another 3-5 years

Finally Zuckerberg stated something which we truly believe in: “Mobile will be bigger than the Web for Facebook in terms of advertising”

We believe that Facebook might have to replace the word advertising with the more generic term marketing but otherwise we are absolutely convinced that he is right.

Magnus Jern

Tags: android apps ios apps mobile app development Mobility Strategy OS Technology & Mobile Platform Strategy UX, Web & App Development

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