MWC 2012: Facebook to tackle web apps and mobile payments | Mobile Development | Mobile Entertainment

MWC 2012: Facebook to tackle web apps and mobile payments

MWC 2012: Facebook to tackle web apps and mobile payments
Tim Green

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Development / HTML 5 / February 27th 2012 at 5:40PM

Joins WWW Consortium and starts work on an operator payments SDK.

Not long ago Facebook admitted it don't know that much about mobile, and that it kind of lucked into the medium by virtue of the phenomenal success of its online services.

Well, that's all changed.

Today, at MWC, the firm declared its intention to make web apps and introduce payments for mobile services.

Facebook is very keen on the mobile web, but realises that mobile  browsers leave a little to be desired. So it's working with the World Wide Web Consortium to established a set of Web standards and it's creating a test suite called Ringmark.

Facebook would love to see web apps prevail as they play into its Open Graph technology, which lets developers create apps that sync with the social graphs of its 425m mobile users.

This would also help developers with app discovery.

In a similar vein, the firm wants to straighten out mobile payments for web-based services.

Facebook Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor admitted that native app stores have an advantage here, but he's still keen to do something about it.

"Right now, the payments experience is just broken for end users," he said. "Even for operating billing, most purchases require SMS device verification. If I want to purchase a 99-cent level in a game, I have to wait for an SMS to arrive to verify this device is attached to my account.

"If do, I have to memorise code, type it into the browser, and resubmit the transaction. If i make it this far, I can go back to playing my game. Most customers don't make it that far."

That's a bit strong. And firms like Boku and Onebip might disagree, although to be fair they tend to be more focused on the fixed web.

So Facebook is working on a software developer kit to give programmers access to carrier billing. Maybe that's what the announcement with UK based billing firm Bango was about two weeks ago.

Orange has already confirmed it's working with Facebook on progressing its billing platform.

This week's MWC coverage is kindly sponsored by Neomobile, the leader in mobile commerce services. Neomobile is active in 70 geographies from 12 offices in Europe, LatAm and India. It offers a variety of mobile payment services via its Onebip mobile payment solution, featuring frictionless one-click mobile flow.