Mobile games on Facebook to grow industry as one unit, not platform by platform, reckons CTO Bret Taylor
Users should be able to link up whatever the OS
Uniting the entire mobile games industry is certainly a grand vision, especially given Facebook's app platform – once dubbed Project Spartan – is currently exclusive to iOS.
Nonetheless, CTO Bret Taylor believes the social network's intrusion into the mobile games scene will be for all developers and consumers, regardless of what smartphone they have in their pocket.
"iPhone is extremely popular, but so are Android phones," Taylor said of Facebook's thinking in regards to the planned multi-platform delivery of Spartan.
"Windows Phone has made a lot of inroads, and a lot of people use BlackBerry devices. Developing for mobile is a relatively nuanced and complex thing for a lot of developers, particularly in the context of social applications.
"If someone invites a friend to play a game with them, they don’t necessarily know what handset they have."
D day for discovery
Getting users to play each other, however, requires them to find the games in the first place.
One area where Facebook has already been criticised is in regards to the lack of a storefront for both apps and games. To find titles, users currently have to search for their names - hardly an ideal approach.
Nonetheless, Taylor believes the additional visibility Facebook will provide mobile apps is a key selling point going forward.
"For startups, it's very difficult to get their apps discovered," he added.
"They have a honeymoon period in the app stores where they might be in a top 10 list and get a lot of downloads, but once that honeymoon period is over, discovery is very difficult. By integrating with these social channels in mobile, they can get discovered in really organic ways."
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