BARCELONA--At Mobile World Congress (MWC) Facebook said it would be joining over 30 device manufacturers, carriers, and developers in an industry-wide effort to help accelerate the improvement and standardization of mobile browsers.
The consortium, known as the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group, aims to make it easier for developers to understand their app's potential reach and prioritize which browser capabilities are most important to them.
Bret Taylor, Facebook’s CTO, said the firm was making available a new mobile browser test suite --Ringmark-- to help developers know which mobile browsers support the functionality their app needs.
Taylor said Facebook would also be donating to the community for the suite’s further development, in an effort to combat fragmentation.
Mobile payments and app purchasing were another area Facebook was focusing on at its press conference on Monday, with the Taylor announcing it would be working with operators to reduce the number of steps users needed to make in order to complete a transaction in mobile web apps.
Taylor said the move should make it easier for hundreds of millions of people worldwide to buy apps on their device using operator billing instead of making small individual payments.
The operator billing would be automatically enabled where carriers support it, said Taylor, as long as developers integrated the Pay Dialog into their app.
The new billing system takes three steps to complete a transaction compared to the old one that required eight steps, said the firm.
With over 425 million monthly active Facebook mobile users, 475 mobile operators working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products, and over 60 million people visiting mobile apps from within Facebook itself, the move makes sense, said Taylor.