Did HTML5 Fail Facebook or Vice Versa

Carl Ford : 4G Wireless Evolution
Carl Ford
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Did HTML5 Fail Facebook or Vice Versa

At Disrupt SF Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook, candidly said that HTML5 has not delivered the mobile device market to them like they expected.

Candidly,  I think we need to parse this message carefully and really think about what was said, because the reality is the direction change was more than just a statement about mobile. It was a statement about Facebook as well.

Previously Facebook was looking to use HTML5 as the lingua franca for app interconnection to their platform.  Many friends were embracing HTML5 development to add on to Facebook and reach their user base.

So the first take away we should have is that Facebook did not have the clout to get that done.  As we are now learning from Zynga's troubles and other defections Facebook is just at the end of the day, Facebook.   Add on gain from being found on them, but can safely assume that the web is as good a platform as Facebook in general.

Except Parse 2 teaches us that Mobile has the clout and in particular Apple has the marketshare and the moxie that demands direct attention.  Facebook's HTML5 app on the iPhone is not as powerful as the direct iPhone app and points to the need to have direct device integration.  At least for Apple.

And if Apple isn't everything these days. It's at least almost everything with about 2/3rds of the apps market beholding to them for revenue.

The additional parse that Mike Arrington refuses to Grok is that Facebook can not afford to be in the phone business.  If they can't get the development community to see the value of working with them, the app development community is not going to do any better.  An in your face, Facebook phone in Mark's casual number statement of 10M would do about as well as Samsung and would probably be much less in adoption.

So the bottom line to parse from Mark's comments is that Apple is the big dog in apps and Facebook is not.

Final thought is that the HTML5 bet was not discounted as the wrong decision for anything other than the iPhone.  So the company that advocated for HTML5 is probably the least likely to use it.

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