Zuckerberg Admits Facebook’s HTML5 Myopia A Mistake


Mark Zuckerberg made a startling comment about the role of HTML5 in Facebook’s future at TechCrunch’s Disrupt 2012.  He stated that they focused too much on HTML5 that they forgot about native apps.  Blaming the move for their slow productivity but they expect a change in phase in the next six months as they are now focusing on native apps.

Facebook banked on HTML5 big time last year, stating that it was the right path to go into since devices used at the time, they believe, would no longer be in use in the future, so banking on native apps for those devices was not a smart move.  HTML5 was the right path since that’s the path everyone is taking.  Unfortunately, Facebook wasn’t lucky with HTML5.

The question now is, is HTML5 doomed?  Or Facebook just wasn’t using it the right way?  I’m banking on the latter.

“On the front of using HTML5 on mobile and web to approach customers there are products arriving on the scene that enable native UI appearance, such as the Kendo UI, and combined with wrappers that extend that functionality into the native OS it’s possible to still use HTML5 without losing the Native experience,” Kit Dotson, SiliconANGLE’s editor of DevOps, stated.

Telerik, a leading provider of developer tools and solutions, recently announced a major update to Kendo UI.  It is now incorporated with adaptive rendering capabilities to leverage the latest in CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript web standards, in order to adapt a mobile app’s native appearance on any smartphone or tablet and to provide support for all major browsers.  This update allows developers to  use these capabilities to target multiple phone and tablet platforms with a single UI codebase.

“However, reaching that goal takes planning and managing expectations by utilizing the technologies at hand and focusing on user experience rather than getting to market with the next-big-thing because it’s popular,” Dotson added.

Still, what happened to Facebook should serve as a lesson to anyone who wants to be successful in their mobile strategy.  Not everyone can be successful in mashing up native and HTML5.

“We’ve always felt that the HTML5 vs Native debate ignored the most important perspective – the user,” Nolan Wright, Appcelerator CTO and Co-Founder said about what happened to Facebbok’s effort on HTML5.  “Facebook’s renewed focus on native illustrates that an exceptional user experience is foundational to success in mobile. Their failed two-year experiment with HTML5 should serve as a cautionary tale for companies that are considering HTML5 as the foundation of their mobile strategy.”

Leaving behind the native architecture of devices for HTML5 can also leave users in the dark–or with a weaker version of the software so that it can run across so many