As we understand it, Project Spartan is the codename for a new platform Facebook is on verge of launching. It’s entirely HTML5-based and the aim is to reach some 100 million users in a key place: mobile. More specifically, the initial target is both surprising and awesome: mobile Safari.The main target (at least initially) seems to be Apple and its iOS app store. The article mentions that while Twitter now provides single sign-on for OS X Lion, Facebook was initially the preferred choice . So something must have happened behind the scenes. Similarly, in September 2010, Apple and Facebook weren’t able to reach an agreement on integrating Facebook with the iTunes Music Store. Quoting :
As of right now, there are believed to be 80 or so outside developers working with Facebook on Project Spartan. These teams are working on apps for the platform that range from games to news-reading apps.
[Facebook intends] to have Credits built-in to alloy developers to sell apps and offer in-app purchases.
After introducing Ping on Wednesday, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, was asked why Apple built its own social network, rather than, say, build services on top of Facebook, as other music sites have done. Mr. Jobs, who was strolling around a demo room where reporters could try Apple’s new products, said that Apple considered that and held discussions with Facebook, but that the social networking company’s terms were “onerous.”Facebook is making a smart move by creating a web-based application platform. It might also fit in with their declared plan to consolidate the development of their clients via HTML5 . Quote from :
The open question is: Do we really need yet another app store? We already have Google’s and Mozilla’s webapp stores, let alone the many native app stores (iOS, Android, Amazon, etc.). But Facebook’s entry into this market will at least increase the visibility of web technology as a foundation for “serious” apps. Mobile is the current target, so apps will initially be small, but that will change over time.