Facebook Seeks Mobile Web Standard

Facebook has joined with more than 30 phone manufacturers, wireless operators and developers to form a consortium to develop a standard for the mobile Web and mobile apps.

The goal of the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group (acronym anyone?) is to accelerate the improvement and standardization of mobile browsers, according to Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, who announced the new group at the Mobile World Congress Monday. In particular, the effort is meant to speed up the push behind HTML5 by establishing a single set of standards for the programming language.

Facebook is pushing wider adoption of HTML5 as a way to counter the dominance of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS in the mobile space. Neither of those companies is part of the new consortium which includes AT&T, Verizon, HTC, Nokia, Netflix, Zynga, Orange and Sony Mobile Communications, among others.

Taylor said Facebook, working with its partners, hoped to make it easier for people to find apps and make payments through the mobile Web and reduce fragmentation within HTML5 development. To that end, the company has launched an open mobile browser called Ringmark that developers can use to test how will an app will work on different devices and browsers.

Facebook is also working with operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Vodafone, KDDI, SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp., to provide carrier-based billing across mobile apps that incorporating code enabling Facebook Credits payments.

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