Today at their mobile event in Palo Alto, CA, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed something interesting and rather humorous. It’s no secret that Facebook’s Android app has long been sort of a lame little cousin to their excellent iPhone app. But do you know why? Well it’s mostly Google’s fault. You see, they acquired the developer Facebook had hired to make the app.
“Yeah, I thought that was obnoxious,” Zuckerberg said today when we asked him about it following the event. Everyone in the room burst out in laughter at that.
Zuckerberg said it was a really small shop that Facebook had contracted to make the app — he was quickly corrected that it was actually more like one developer. “But it was the main thing they were working on. It wasn’t like it was some shop and that’s why Google had to buy them,” Zuckerberg continued, clearly still holding a bit of a grudge about it.
“Obviously, it wasn’t a huge deal. But it definitely set us back for a while,” he noted. Zuckerberg said that they worked out an arrangement to use the code the developer had written for the app up until then, but that he obviously couldn’t work on it anymore. “It was kind of frustrating.”
Previously, it was thought that Google was actually helping Facebook to build their Android app — after the social network indicated it wasn’t a priority. But this makes more sense as to why it was so bad for so long — Google screwed over Facebook on it.
Robert Scoble recorded the entire conversation, so you can hear it in Zuckerberg’s own words here (it’s about 32:20 in).
Facebook is finally building the Android app in house now. And they actually updated it today which a range of new features to match the other versions available.