Friday, March 02, 2012

Facebook @ MWC : Helping Improve the Mobile Web



An acknowledgement of the biggest issues plaguing the mobile web and strong support for industry initiatives aimed at addressing them


by Douglas Purdy, Facebook Developer Blog
27 February 2012 
To help developers reach more people, we're committed to providing distribution across all platforms. The Open Graph, combined with News Feed and Timeline, helps people discover new apps through friends, regardless of the technology stack used.
We see more people accessing Facebook on the mobile web than from our top native apps combined, so we know the mobile web is important for reach. So why aren't more people building apps for the mobile web? We hear from developers that there are three challenge areas that make it hard to build on the mobile web: app discovery, mobile browser fragmentation and payments.

App Discovery

Our hope is that Facebook Platform addresses the app discovery issue head-on-by connecting your app to Open Graph, all 425 million people who use Facebook's mobile apps will be able to discover your app. We’ve been helping people discover iOS and mobile web apps since October, and as announced today in Mobile World Congress, we’ll soon extend this to native Android apps.
Mobile browser fragmentation and payments, on the other hand, are industry-wide problems that no individual company can fix by themselves. Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona we are excited to announce a couple of industry-wide initiatives to address these issues.

Mobile Browser Fragmentation

When you build for the mobile web today, it's hard to know which browsers and devices will support your app. Which is why we're proud to be joining over 30 device manufacturers, carriers, and developers in an industry-wide effort to help accelerate the improvement and standardization of mobile browsers: the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group. For developers, this makes it easier to understand your app's potential reach and to help prioritize which browser capabilities are important to you.
At the same time, we're making Ringmark, a new mobile browser test suite, available today, and we'll be donating it to the Community Group to build upon. This test suite, developed together with Bocoup, helps you understand which mobile browsers support the functionality your app needs.
Participants in the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group:
Samsung, HTC, Sony Mobile Communications, Nokia, Huawei, ZTE, TCL Communication, AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, Telef√≥nica, KDDI, SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp., Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc., NVIDIA, ST-Ericsson, Intel Corporation, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Mozilla, Opera, Microsoft, Adobe, Netflix, VEVO, Zynga, @WalmartLabs, Electronic Arts, Sencha and Bocoup. You can read more about the group, and how to join, here.

Streamlined Payments Flow

We're working with operators around the world to minimize the number of steps needed to complete a transaction in mobile web apps, which will make it easier for hundreds of millions of people worldwide to purchase apps on their device via operator billing. This will be automatically enabled where carriers support it when you integrate the Pay Dialog into your app.
Operators working on streamlined billing:
AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Vodafone, KDDI, SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp.
We're excited to be working together with you - and all of our partners around the mobile industry - to make the mobile web a strong platform. You can find out more about these initiatives on our HTML5 blog, and on the W3C Community Group page.
Our hope is that these initiatives - the Open Graph, the Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group at the W3C, and our partnerships with carriers to improve mobile payments - will enable developers all over the world to build mobile experiences that improve the lives of billions of people.
We look forward to working with all of you to make this happen.

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