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Facebook says it isn’t building a Windows 8 app (venturebeat.com)
23 points by mohamedattahri 1843 days ago | hide | past | web | 27 comments | favorite

On Windows Phone 7, the Facebook app is made by Microsoft. It will probably be the same for Windows 8...

Facebook probably requires a larger user base before investing on a platform.

Although I generally prefer third-party app providers, for something like this, and given the "quality" of the Android app, I think this is a good thing.

I mean, Microsoft obviously have a bigger investment in providing a smooth, deeply integrated app that is consistent with the platform's look and feel.

And given the low-quality apps Facebook has put out there in the past, I also think they have a higher bar as far as quality is concerned.

Also, I think Windows 8 - not WP8 or Windows 8 RT necessarily, but the whole family, including the desktop/laptop market - will end up having a significant user base.

Also, I think Windows 8 - not WP8 or Windows 8 RT necessarily, but the whole family, including the desktop/laptop market - will end up having a significant user base.

I agree. You can design one app for three major platforms.

You can share significant amounts of code and design, but WP8 will necessarily require departures from the W8 app in UI design. For example WP8 uses panorama and pivot controls, which are not available in identical form in W8 (although analogs do exist).

Microsoft has already announced at the Windows Phone 8 roll out event this week that MS is building the Facebook app.

> We only build the iOS and Android FB apps. You should check in with Microsoft on anything related to Windows 8.

Maybe I'm just reading a bit too much into the particular phrasing (esp. the definite article used), but this sounds more like "not my department" than "we don't do that." Though "not my department" is admittedly an odd thing to hear from a "manager of corporate communications"... unless it was bubbled up the chain of communication, without editorial reinterpretation, from somewhere in the mobile apps department.

Well, they did slid in bed with Apple as first-class citizen service in iOS 6. Then again, so did Twitter.

I wonder how different were those two deals.

The difference is iOS has been sold on hundreds of millions of phones. Windows Phone 8 has sold zero.

This article is talking about Windows 8, not Windows Phone 8.

And Windows Phone has had OS level integration with Facebook from day one (i.e. the launch of Windows Phone 7).

And Windows 8 has sold 4 million copies as of the last figures I saw.

Facebook doesn't typically do OS-level integration on any OS, and clients are only really useful on mobile devices (desktop-spec web browsers and connections are very much good enough for Facebook).

Just like they don't have an official Windows 7 app...

Considering the app store in question was introduced with Windows 8. . .

That seems foolish, if true.

Uh, really?

Not developing for a completely unproven platform, where most users are served perfectly fine by the existing web app, isn't "foolish," it's a good use of resources.

I don't know how you can call Windows an "unproven platform". Even what was considered a disaster, Vista, sold more copies in the first few months than OSX had sold in its entire lifespan (at that point). So internet opinions of Windows 8 aside, it's going to sell a lot of copies, and all of those people will have a tile labeled "Store" staring them in the face every time they get back on their computers or launch a different app.

Yes, Windows 8 will ship on millions of desktops and laptops. And almost no one using those devices would prefer a full-screen Metro app to the website. This isn't like Instagram or something where a native app is the service; the vast majority of people using Facebook are going to be doing it through the browser.

So you're right, Windows 8 will sell a lot of copies for PC usage, and maybe a few people will find apps they want to use in the store, but primarily, those people are going to prefer browser apps to Metro apps, guaranteed - store apps offer no advantage, in this case.

Now, Windows 8 on tablets? If that takes off, I'm sure Facebook will start to target it. Until it does, though, I think we'd all rather them spend their resources on the platforms that they know are important to the vast majority of their users.

I agree with most of your premises but not your conclusion. I would just say a couple of things:

1) Microsoft is intentionally blurring the line between tablets and PCs. Usage patterns will be different between one extreme -- something like the surface -- and the other extreme -- a tower PC / monitor combo. But between those extremes there's a lot of middle ground; convertible tablets, laptops with touch screens, all-in-one desktops with touch screens. I don't think it's so easy to say that most people will fall into a traditional desktop usage pattern because a lot of those people won't be using a traditional desktop computer.

2) When you're dealing with a user base the size of Windows, even a small percentage of users using the Windows Store still adds up to a lot of people in absolute numbers; competitive with what the other tablet platforms will have.

Windows on mobile devices is an unproven platform. Facebook waited until the iPad 2 came out before considering targeting that platform. It doesn't matter how many Windows copies are sold since those desktop users know exactly where to access facebook.

Windows on tablets and Windows on desktop share a common app platform. You have to think about it as one. Facebook might be thinking that Facebook.com is good enough, as they did with the iPad for a long time, but they've also recently said that they are going to put more emphasis on native development.

He's talking about WP8, not really the desktop operating system. Those users are going to the browser anyways.

I'm pretty sure he's talking about Windows 8, as that is what the article is about, and because he said that the web app is a good substitute (wouldn't be true if he was talking about the phone).

We only build the iOS and Android FB apps. You should check in with Microsoft on anything related to Windows 8.

This quote kind of reinforces my point. She only named two mobile operating systems. Facebook in a browser isn't a web-app, it's a website. Facebook in a mobile browser is coded specifically to use mobile human interaction standards, blurring the line between website and app - a web app. I still think he's talking WP8 and tablets right now. Notice how FB isn't making an OSX client as well, also a huge user base, and also a system that has browsers.

EDIT: After re-reading, I see what you're saying. I guess I don't see the relevance of having a specific W8 app unless it offers better/cleaner functionality than the browser. A lot of people do things in different tabs and windows and copy links to FB or vice versa.

I understand the desire to categorize OSes into neat little boxes "phone", "tablet", and "desktop" but that's not the reality in the Windows world. Windows has 1 OS that is definitely "phone", and then it has another which is a hybrid of what we currently see as a "tablet" OS and what we current see as a "desktop" OS. Windows RT even falls between these; Windows 8 (including when on a tablet) falls between as well.

With Windows being such as success in desktop PCs, a blurring of the two ideas is strategically important to Microsoft. If people starting thinking of tablets as PCs it benefits Microsoft. They are even moving towards having laptops be tablet-like with touch interfaces; and transformer tablet/laptops further blurs the line. From an app perspective this could mean either 1) that the reach of Windows will pressure app developers into supporting the platform or 2) that due to its closeness to traditional PCs, and most users being on traditional PCs, app developers will see their website (if they have one) as good enough. If I'm predicting, I think the former will happen.

Especially since you can wait a little and change your mind later. Then you have a decent chance that some of the developers working on it will have done a Windows 8 app before.

Facebook said the same thing about developing an iPad app, and they stuck by that for a long time. It wasn't until three facebook apps made by third parties dominated the app store in number of downloads that they decided it was worth making their own.

Just like they didn't have an ipad app and said they never would.

give it a few months...

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