Facebook acquires HTML5 apps platform developer Strobe

Facebook has acquired Strobe, the developer of a platform for mobile apps built with HTML5. Strobe will continue to be available as a beta, though it's not clear for how long.

Facebook has acquired Strobe, a small startup based in San Francisco that develops a platform for mobile apps built with HTML5. It supports multiple devices and operating systems, including iOS and Android. Financial details were not disclosed.

"Strobe was founded on the belief that HTML5 can transform the way average people use their mobile phones through apps that are available everywhere, anytime, on any device," a Strobe spokesperson said in a statement. "Now we're joining the talented people at Facebook to help develop innovative mobile experiences for their users around the world. Strobe has been a fantastic adventure. Thank you to everyone who has supported us. We look forward to working with you again in our future roles."

Strobe is the company behind SproutCore, an open-source JavaScript framework that lets developers create web-based apps. Charles Jolley started development on it in 2007 while he was a full-time engineer at Apple, but he eventually left and founded Strobe in 2010. Strobe's service will continue to be available to existing users in its current beta form, and SproutCore will live on as an independent project.

"We're excited to confirm that we've completed a talent acquisition for Strobe Corp., a mobile-app-development startup based in San Francisco," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "Founder and Chief Executive Officer Charles Jolley will join our mobile engineering team, and we're looking forward to the major impact the Strobe team will undoubtedly make at Facebook."

Last month, Facebook announced the extension of the Facebook Platform to mobile. The move allows mobile developers to take advantage of social channels for app discovery as well as the Facebook Credits payment system.

So far, Facebook is letting developers target two mobile platforms: Apple iOS and the mobile version of the social network's website. Other platforms are on its to-do list though, and Google's Android has specifically been named. Strobe's employees will likely be helping out with this initiative.

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