Monday Jan 23, 2012 by Jon Finegold, Entrepreneur and Startup Executive
On Friday I was able to participate in Facebook's mobile-social hack in Cambridge. More than 60 developers were in attendance for the all day event with several teams hacking together demos and apps to compete for prizes. The day opened with presentations from the Facebook team focusing on three general areas related to mobile development and social integration. The first presentation was on HTML5 as a platform for mobile-social, followed by a session on native development which covered both Android and iOS but with a clear bias towards Apple and then a session on the evolution of the graph API. PhoneGap also presented updates on their solution to enable cross platform mobile development. The day closed with presentations by the hackers and prizes awarded for the best best hacks.
Of course, what Facebook event begins without some metrics. Facebook noted that of their 800 million active users worldwide, some 500 million engage with the Facebook platform in one way or another, 350 million engage with Facebook on a mobile device and more than 200 million are playing games on Facebook. Over 20 million Facebook apps are installed each day which is more than iOS and Android combined. They also noted the evolution of the web from a series of linked static content to a more human-centric and social experience. It seemed they were taking subtle jabs at Google by focusing on that point but jabs aside, its clear from the numbers that the world has gone mobile and that social is an important element to almost everything we do on the web. At the center of much of this is the Facebook platform and these events encourage developers to leverage the platform and continue to deepen Facebook's roots in our mobile social experience.
Following the presentations there was time to hack and the Facebook team made themselves available to join your hack and to answer questions as you coded. It was neat to see all the creativity and kudos to Facebook for inspiring all the innovative energy. The winning teams were MocoSpace, CallMe and EverTrue who won coupons good towards new smart phone devices for their efforts. It was an inspiring day that made a few things clear. Mobile is the most important thing in IT right now, social integration is enabling many new companies to re-think the web and disrupt incumbent players and Boston is a place where a lot of this is happening.
To continue the discussion and connect with the hackers, a Facebook group has been formed following the event to share information on mobile, social development in Boston at http://www.facebook.com/groups/156250684487848/
Jon Finegold is an entrepreneur & startup Executive in Boston. He was the COO & Co-Founder of Thinking Screen Media.