Could Facebook Become An App Discovery Service?

The two biggest mobile platforms -- Apple's iOS and Google's Android -- are not Facebook's friends. So how can the social network become a place for users to find applications for handhelds?

Facebook should integrate its ability to authenicate and connect applications with users — in order to make the so-called Spartan platform take off.

That’s what AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes argues. Unfortunately, there’s a big problem: The two biggest mobile platforms — Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android — are not Facebook’s friends.

Apple chose Twitter to be it social network glue in iOS 5. And Android’s parent company officially launched Google+ to compete with Facebook’s like button, the latest chapter in an ongoing rivalry.

So that leaves:

  • Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, which is fading in popularity.
  • Hewlett-Packard’s webOS, which is struggling to revive itself (having dwindled under prior owner Palm)
  • Microsoft Windows Phone ,which appears to be on life support, although several analysts predict it will be the number two platform by 2015.

Windows Phone already integrates Facebook into its platforms. Microsoft is adding Twitter support in the upcoming Mango update. The Redmond, WA an early investor in Facebook and could greatly benefit from improved app discovery and virality.

So, Facebook’s best bets for its Spartan HTML5 platform is with the two smallest mobile platform players: HP’s webOS and Microsoft Windows Phone.

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