Facebook to help build mobile web

Facebook has announced plans to support the evolution of the mobile web by addressing three key factors that discourage developers from building mobile apps.

The first of these is the issue of app discovery, which the company tells us is tackled by Facebook Platform. By connecting your app to Open Graph, you make it discoverable for everyone using Facebook on their mobile. For example your app might make itself visible to other users by posting Timeline items.

Yesterday at Mobile World Congress, Facebook made two announcements intended to combat the problems of mobile browser fragmentation and payments. To help speed up the standardisation process, the company is joining the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group and donating a mobile browser test suite, Ringmark.

Bruce Lawson, standards evangelist at Opera, welcomed Facebook's input but emphasised the need for inclusivity: "The more test-suites there are, the better; it helps standards get implemented interoperably. That's why Opera is part of this group. Note that these things aren't scorecards – browsers on feature phones with 'low scores' aren't second-class citizens – that way of thinking treats millions of people for whom feature phones are their only access to the web as second-class citizens."

To assist with mobile payments, Facebook is partnering with mobile operators to simplify the process of making transactions, so that people can make app payments via operator billing. This progress is automatically enabled when you integrate Facebook's Pay Dialog into your app.

Pain points

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