Today at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco, Inside Network’s Justin Smith sat down for a discussion with Facebook CTO Bret Taylor. The two talked about a wide range of issues including the company’s 2010 (when they cut spam by 95 percent, Taylor said). But there was a particular focus on 2011 and the ecosystem. So what’s next for Facebook’s Platform?
Taylor made it very clear that mobile was the big area of focus for the Platform in 2011. But at a higher level Taylor talked a bit about “streamlining things” with regard to all the different ways Facebook is used.
“When we update something, there are about 7 different versions we have to update,” Taylor said. He rattled off a few: facebook.com, m.facebook.com, touch.facebook.com, the iPhone version, the Android version, etc. “It’s an incredible challenge,” he said. “And there’s feature-skew,” he continued.
Taylor noted that this same issue is a big problem for their third-party developers and partners as well. So how do they combat it? HTML5.
Taylor noted that while HTML5 has gotten a lot of hype in Silicon Valley, he does really believe that it’s the long-term answer. He said that Facebook is a bit ahead of the curve currently with over 125 million of their users accessing Facebook regularly from HTML5-compatible devices. “But we’re putting more in,” he said. “We’re getting to the point where it’s becoming a more mature platform,” he continued.
He noted that Facebook is going to release a lot of developer tools in the coming year so that third-parties can utilize HTML5 better as well.
When Smith asked if it was fair to say that Facebook would re-write or re-work things to make everything more standardized around technologies like HTML5, Taylor said, “At a high level, that’s the direction we’re going.”
Taylor credited both Apple and Google for doing great work in pushing HTML5 forward with their web browsers both on the desktop on on mobile. “It’s big for everyone in this room,” he said.
He did acknowledge that HTML5 was still a bit quirky when compared to native applications. “But the gap is closing,” Taylor concluded.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...
Bret Taylor was the CTO of Facebook. He joined Facebook as the head of platform in August 2009, after serving as the co-founder and CEO of the social network aggregator FriendFeed. He most recently worked as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Benchmark Capital, where he began to develop FriendFeed with Jim Norris. During his four years at Google, he led more than 25 successful product launches, including Google Maps, Google Local, Google Web Toolkit, the Google Maps API, and...