Facebook acquires HTML5 “app delivery network” Strobe
Here’s Strobe CEO Charles Jolley, who previously headed up MobileMe app development at Apple:
Strobe was founded on the belief that HTML5 can transform the way average people use their mobile phones through apps that are available everywhere, anytime, on any device. Now we’re joining the talented people at Facebook to help develop innovative mobile experiences for their users around the world.
This deal — and many of Facebook’s recent moves in mobile — seems all about Facebook becoming more of a mobile platform, and not just an app or service. To have maximum value, Facebook needs companies building on top of it in mobile the way they do on the desktop web. Whatever that is, it sounds like the Strobe team will help implement it.
At one point, it seemed Facebook was going to launch its own mobile platform based on a heavily customized version of Android. That seems to either be delayed or off the table. These days, it looks like Facebook is focusing on cross-platform HTML5 apps. I’m not sure if it’s their only plan going forward — there’s always the wacky chance it will acquire WebOS from HP, or roll out something with Android — but this looks like a good talent pickup.
Note: Jolley says that SproutCore — the framework he started to help make web apps work and feel more like desktop apps — will continue as an independent project.