Facebook’s infamous Project Spartan, the company’s HTML5 app store, went live yesterday as part of the update to the Facebook mobile web site, iPhone app and new iPad app. As part of that silent release – no fanfare, no CEO on a stage, no sweaty Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook gaming giant “wooga” launched the new platform’s first game, Magic Land Island.
While the game itself is mildly interesting, it’s the technology aspect that is worth noting, and wooga’s CTO, Philipp Moeser, seems particularly excited about the possibilities afforded by mobile HTML5 applications…
In a press release sent to iDownloadBlog today, Moeser said that the company was surprised by the power of HTML5, and that they expect it to give rise to a new segment in the market.
“The rapid technological development and possibilities of HTML5 surprised us during the development process and we are really seeing a lot of potential for a new segment of mobile social games.”
The team at wooga is understandably excited by their new baby too, which acts as a mobile version of the Facebook game going by the same name, sans the ‘island’ part and they go so far as to claim Magic Land Island as “one of the technologically most sophisticated mobile HTML5 games.”
Facebook’s new HTML5 apps can be accessed within the updated iOS application, via the sidebar, which is now home to just about everything Facebook-related. While there doesn’t yet appear to be a real home for these apps currently, users must know the name of the app they are looking for, and then search for it – we expect a whole new online market to come about as part of the Spartan project.
Apple isn’t completely cut out of the equation either, with that same Facebook sidebar offering links to the App Store, should there be an iOS-coded version of an app available. This means Apple still gets a cut of any revenue generated, and while Facebook’s HTML5 apps get parity with their App Store brethren.
This is just the start for Facebook and their push into the world of app stores, but with Apple, Amazon, Google and now Facebook all having their own store of sorts, do customers run the risk of confusion eventually?
With the clout of Facebook, how long before they start to really flex their muscles in the mobile space? Now they finally have an iPad app, they might be on their way.