In the latest Facebook “Under the Hood” blog post, engineer Michael Eyal Sharon mentions that by better integrating its teams, Facebook hopes it will become more of a whole experience rather than several disparate experiences.
One of the more interesting tidbits Sharon touches upon in the blog post is that, in the beginning, the Facebook iOS app was developed by a single person, before moving on to a small team of developers. For some time, the teams developing the Facebook web app and its mobile app were completely separate. While this worked in the short term, it was clear that this method wouldn't scale well.
While there are still separate teams, they work much more closely now, and according to the post, the teams “have taken ownership of their product experiences across both desktop and our mobile apps.” The standalone Messanger and Camera apps were born out of this new method of operation.
As two of the most used functions of Facebook's mobile app, it makes sense to break off the Messanger and Camera aspects into smaller apps that can launch more quickly and be easier to use while still integrating with the main Facebook app.
While most of the blog post focuses on Facebook for iOS, we can hope that it will apply to the native Facebook Android app that will supposedly be released soon. Sharon mentions that the Facebook app shares a code base with the standalone Messanger and Camera apps for iOS, and seemingly the Android Facebook Messenger app works similarly. Hopefully when the fully native Android app arrives, utilizing a shared code base, combined with Facebook's new timed released cycle will lead to faster, more efficient updates.
How often do you use Facebook's mobile apps compared to its web app? Do you think that this unified approach will benefit the new Android app when it is released?