Facebook is going mobile, big time. In April, the world’s leading social network picked up Instagram for a whopping billion dollars. Last month, the company gave a sneak peek into how it plans to leverage this acquisition by launching a Instagram-ish Facebook Camera app.
And last week, Facebook unveiled the ‘App Center’ – an app discovery tool for native and web apps that utilize Facebook integration in some way. At WWDC 2012, Apple confirmed that iOS 6 will have ‘deep’ Facebook integration.
If that’s not enough to prove that Facebook is serious about mobile, Zuckerberg and co. yesterday picked up the team behind Pieceable Viewer, a mobile service that allows iOS app developers to demonstrate their apps in a Web browser.
Facebook says it will open source Pieceable Viewer in the coming months. So, what’s coming next from the Facebook mobile repertoire? Perhaps, a web-based app to replicate your Facebook mobile experience? Or perhaps, an integration with the newly launched App Center to allow users to run Facebook integrated mobile apps in their browsers? Who knows?
Facebook is not acquiring the company, technology, or customer data, it has hired the staff of three engineers behind the Pieceable Viewer software. I tried my hand at the Pieceable Viewer trial a couple of months back and I have to admit that I was very impressed with the experience. It’s a handy tool for developers as well as sales reps to showcase iOS apps before they hit the App Store. The company offers several usage-based plans varying from small ($30/ month for 400 minutes) upto 2XL ($480/ month for 42,000 minutes).
“We will be winding down the Pieceable service at the end of the year so we can focus on the new challenges and opportunities at Facebook. Facebook is not acquiring the company, technology, or customer data. We know many of you have come to rely on the Pieceable service, and we want to make sure that you can continue to do so even after we shut down our hosted service on December 31, 2012. In a few months, we’ll be releasing an open source version of Pieceable Viewer that you’ll be able to run on your own Mac hardware – we’ll have more details on that soon,” the Pieceable team in the note.
Several analysts believe the acquisition is to propel Facebook’s dream of developing a web-based operating system that can run on all kinds of devices, including low-cost smartphones and tablets for developing markets.
Pieceable will shut down its hosted service on Dec. 31.