At today’s F8 conference, Facebook detailed its massive reach into the mobile realm — announcing the social network now has over 350 million mobile users and is now working with over 475 mobile operators around the world to “deploy and promote Facebook mobile products.”
Here in the US most of us access Facebook via our Android or iOS devices, for example, but elsewhere around the world the company is working directly with mobile operators to make Facebook available on any device, whether it’s a smartphone or not. In some cases, the operators themselves are even paying all the costs to make it happen. It’s obvious that Facebook sees the future of its service on mobile devices, and it’s likely not via apps.
The so-called “Project Spartan” is a yet-to-be confirmed internal initiative with the goal of bringing Facebook to mobile devices via an HTML5 Web app in lieu of native mobile applications. Not only does this approach remove the fragmentation and differing versions associated with having numerous mobile apps floating around, but also provides a much-needed bypass of all the app stores — namely Apple’s App Store and the Android Market.