Thursday, June 15, 2023

Apple Execs on Facebook (2011)

Scott Forstall (Hacker News):

I just discussed with Mark [Zuckerberg] how they should not include embedded apps in the Facebook iPad app--neither in an embedded web view or as a directory of links that would redirect to Safari.

Not surprisingly, he wasn’t happy with this as he considers these apps part of the “whole Facebook experience” and isn’t sure they should do an iPad app without them. Everything works in Safari, so he is hesitant to push people to a native app with less functionality, even if the native app is better for non-third party app features.


I had thought that it would be relatively clear which links in Facebook are app-links and which are non app-links. App-links would be things like a poker game. Web links (non app-links) would be things like the NYT. But according to Mark, there is no obvious way to distinguish between a poker game and the NYT. Both are Facebook developers and provide Facebook integration. This is also true of many bloggers. He claims they have over 100,000 developers/points of web integration.

It would be unfortunate to disallow any web post in the Facebook app, including blog posts.

Phil Schiller:

I understand why FaceBook wants to create a market of 3rd party HTML 5 apps that users run from a native FaceBook app on the iPad, and realize that they can always run FaceBook on the iPad in Safari and have these apps in Safari as well anyway, but if we approve of this (regardless of the credits issue) we would then need to allow all developers to do the same thing.

So, for example If Adobe comes in with an app that links to new web apps that they promote we need to allow that “app store” in, even worse Google could come up with an app that runs all their 3rd party Chrome web apps and we would need to allow that in too! I don’t see why we want to do that.

Scott Forstall:

I agree we don’t want to open up a slippery slope for Google, Adobe, or even Amazon to start linking out to a Kindle store in Safari.

Francisco Tolmasky:

Amazing to read pages of AppStore rule minutia (FB Credits vs. what links “look like apps”) with basically zero regard for user experience (Scott comes closest by acknowledging he wouldn’t use a gutted Facebook app). Everything boils down to their position vs. other players like Adobe. I would have imagined they convinced themselves that “We can’t allow this because all those apps are junk and we want a pristine experience on the iPad!” But nope, it’s all just business.


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