1Q EARNINGS: Mark Zuckerberg Says ‘Timing Matters’ On HTML5

By David Cohen 

HTML5Logo650Despite Facebook’s move away from HTML5 and toward building its own native applications, Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke kindly of HTML5 during the company’s first-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Analyst Carlos Kirjner asked Zuckerberg during the question-and-answer portion of the earnings call:

How do you think about the evolution of browser technology, HTML5, and development tools versus native apps? If you look two to three years out, do you think native apps could finally become less important for many use cases? Or, in other words, maybe you guys were not wrong when you tried HTML5 — you were just too early.

Zuckerberg responded:

Yeah, well, timing matters a lot, and so I do think that there’s nothing wrong with the standard of HTML5 technically. I think a lot of what we see is what the main platform providers want to push as the standard for developing on their own platforms.

And what we’ve seen is that both Apple and Google have really favored and made it easier to build high-quality experiences in their own proprietary formats rather than the open Web format.

So while our bias for a number of reasons would have been to have really pushed on HTML5, I don’t want to sound like we’ve walked away from this, because a large number of people access Facebook from the mobile Web, and I don’t know if we break that out specifically, but it’s quite a large number of people.

So we’re continuing to develop that, but for the foreseeable future, we see the best path to continuing to deliver great experiences by working on the native app experiences that we have now.

Readers: Did Zuckerberg’s comments surprise you?