Facebook Takes Aim at App Store With Spartan
Facebook's new mobile platform codenamed "Spartan" is positioning itself to take on Apple's App Store.
The platform is entirely based on HTML5, and optimized to run on Mobile Safari. The aim is to reach 100 million users worldwide with the mobile platform. According to Tech Crunch nearly 80 third-party developers are on board including FarmVille and Zynga. Launching an HTML5 based web app environment like this is precisely what has been talked about since the Financial Times skirted around Apple's ridiculous iTunes requirements for developers. It seems more and more developers are willing to bypass the App Store altogether in favor of HTML5 web apps.
Spartan will be a standalone app that relies on the Facebook social graph, but will not be part of the social network. The app will consist of a drop-down menu built into the mobile version of Facebook that allows users to select an application developed by a third-party. Once the app is clicked on from the drop-down menu the app loads from the developers server with a Facebook "wrapper" that includes basic Facebook functionality, but more importantly the ability to use Facebook credits as currency.
Facebook obviously has an uphill battle to develop HTML5 based application ecosystem that can compete with the 500,000 iOS applications, but they've got to start somewhere. While Facebook has been mum on the project, look for project Spartan to launch later this summer.
Things are getting interesting in the mobile market place.
Source: Tech Crunch