This past week, Facebook made a big splash by announcing their HTML5 app support. For many, this is viewed from the perspective of Facebook developers – they’re becoming even more of a platform with a wider range of supported devices, and Facebook apps may well explode in the coming months (in a good way). My interest, however, leans towards native smartphone app developers who have been integrating Facebook in their apps at a 20% rate – this despite the fact that the Facebook actions they could integrate were limited mostly to Like and Share.
Now, however, app developers have the option to add full HTML5 Facebook apps to their apps (yo dog, I heard you liked apps…). Imagine the iconic New York Times crossword puzzle, set up as a Facebook HTML5 app and integrated into the New York Times’ iPad, iPhone and Android apps. The usage would spike, the NYT’s social presence would expand, and people would start seeing NYT crosswords everywhere they went. A spectacular opportunity, albeit with some downsides (I won’t really go into them here, I’m too excited).
Interestingly, Facebook’s moves have been followed by a tremendously interesting rant by a Google engineer on how Google Plus is a failure as a platform. I kind of like Google Plus, although I rarely use it, but he’s got some interesting points.