Appcelerator survey says developers are looking to Google not Facebook for social differentiation
HTML5 will also be a key driver in 2012
The survey of 2,173 developers, conducted in cooperation with analyst firm International Data Corporation, found that 39 percent of developers felt that Google's broad network of search, YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, and Android Marketplace services were more important to their social strategies than Facebook's social graph.
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Indeed, the survey found that developers don't feel they have the knowledge or tools to leverage the full features of Facebook's social graph.
Instead, they focus on Facebook for notifications, status updates, and authentication.
Appcelerator suggests Google and Apple could move in to educate and provide developers with tools.
"This translates into a big competitive opportunity for Google and potential significant risk for Facebook especially because developers perceive Google as innovating faster than Facebook," said IDC vice president Scott Ellison.
"Add to that, Google itself is clearly gearing up to leverage its network effects, one example being the alteration of its privacy policies to allow sharing of user data across its services."
Apple remains top dog
Other findings in the report suggest that HTML5 will become increasingly important to mobile developers - 79 percent of those surveyed said that the language would be integrated into their apps in 2012.
IOS devices will continue to be the popular choice for developers with 89 percent of developers expressing interest in iPhone and 88 percent in iPad.
Android phones come in at a close second but has dropped 4.7 points to 78.6 percent, with Android tablets dropping 2.2 to 65.9 percent, suggesting slow erosion of interest in the mobile platform.
Meanwhile, the interest spike in Windows Phone 7 during Q4 2011 made it the number three OS in this survey after iOS and Android.
Developer interest in Blackberry OS has waned suffered a sharp drop from 20.7 percent to 15.5 percent.