Mark Zuckerberg on HTML5 at Facebook

At Facebook’s press event today 3 journalists were given a chance to interview Mark Zuckerberg separately from the main press event. At the end of a long discussion, Robert Scoble asked Mark Zuckerberg about any future iPad app for Facebook and this is a quick transcript of what he said.

Starting around 34:20

Our view over the long term is that the development ecosystem right now is kind of crazy. I talked about this a little at Startup School, I don’t know if any of you guys were there. It’s like, when we were getting started in 2004 with Facebook, there was no question what we were going to build- er, what platform we were going to build on top of. Software development was already kind of ‘meh’ too complicated and you don’t want to make someone download something. Mobile environments were not mature enough at all. So of course [in 2004] we’re going to build for the web.

But today, if you’re going to build something from scratch, you have to build a website, but by the way now there is good JavaScript and Ajax-type interactions that work in some places but not in others so you probably want different versions of the website, then you want a simple mobile website, an HTML5 mobile website, an iPhone app, an Android app, an iPad app, a RIM app, and all these different things- and it’s insane. Something has to rationalize all this- and I think our view over time is that the HTML5 environment [the browser] that is being created across all of these [devices] should be a very valuable thing for making it so that people can build all of this.

But regardless I think that the modern app development environment is that you build apps that people use in multiple places.  It’s not just that you build a website. It is that you build a website, then you also build a mobile experience, and then you probably build something inside a social network because that is how you get a lot of exposure to a lot of users. But the more we can make this ‘all web’ that I think is  good.

If a company like Facebook sees the value in an HTML5-based web application that can run across many modern mobile devices, that, to me is a great testament to the power of the web vs. native mobile apps.  Clearly native apps have their place but the more fragmentation we see in the mobile space in both operating systems as well as devices (there are now tablet devices coming out in many different sizes from 11 inches to 7 inches an every size in between) the more important the web will be.

Scobleizer on CinchCast – Interview of Mark Zuckerberg and Erick Tseng of Facebook with Techcrunch and Financial Times.

mp3 download

One Response to Mark Zuckerberg on HTML5 at Facebook

  1. If Mark Zuckerburg sees the open web as a good thing for development, I don’t see the closed web taking over. Natural competition will keep it from doing otherwise.