Has Facebook Declared an App War?

At Facebook's F8 Developer conference, the company announced a few exciting things. From helping startups gain traction and business growth with app accessibility to "deep linking" from app to app, Facebook could be giving Google and Apple a run for their app money.

May 5, 2014 at 3:00PM


Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) recently wrapped up its F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco, and some pretty exciting announcements were made. The company launched a few new programs to help users and businesses increase productivity and make the overall app experience more efficient and seamless.

Facebook has teamed up with companies including Adobe, Mailchimp, Quip, Asana, and more to launch a program that "provides developers with free tools and services worth up to $30,000" to help start-ups take off. The goal is to help developers either get their businesses up and running or accelerate growth. Facebook's blog about the program gives detail on the process:

App developers can apply to participate in FbStart, and if selected, will receive credits for Facebook advertising and Parse, plus free services from companies that deliver product testing, recruiting, customer care, video conferencing and document management.

Developers using iOS and Android systems can apply, and there is no requirement to integrate with Facebook. Developers can choose from two tracks to success: the Bootstrap track and the Accelerate track. Bootstrap is for companies that are just starting up, while Accelerate is the track for companies that need to boost growth. Facebook is not only helping developers launch their businesses, the company is also helping them connect to each other more smoothly while making apps more efficient for users.  

App Links
App Links
is a platform that is set to make linking for apps easier. Facebook has gotten a head start on competitors Apple, Google, and Microsoft by creating a way for apps to link to each other on mobile the same way websites link to each other on the web. This will allow users to easily complete various tasks within one app without having to go through the process of closing and opening multiple apps. Below is a video from the App Links website giving more insight on how it works. 

App Links Home Page Intro from Liquid Agency on Vimeo.

App Links is open-source and available to anyone who wants to use it. Even if developers don't have a website, they can still link to other apps via Parse. Deep linking is made easy with Facebook or self-created API, and it's coded to truly work across all platforms. 

It's possible that Apple or Google will create their own deep-linking platforms, but the issue with that option is that both companies are big on creating brand-exclusive apps that need extra apps to simply work across other platforms. If either company creates its own comparable deep-linking platform, Facebook's App Links would likely still be the preferred linking tool, simply for the cross-platform compatibility. In short, Facebook is the dark horse of the app market, outsmarting the competition by being universal and providing efficient solutions.

Taking off
Helping developers boost their businesses is a noble project that is worthy of investment. Leading the way in making mobile apps more accessible and easier to use sets the company up to outshine competitors by being universal. If Apple is our thesis and Google is our antithesis, then Facebook is our synthesis -- connecting the world efficiently in one place. With these latest developments and the good news of Facebook's first quarter earnings for 2014, the company is well-positioned to make good on its mission to connect the world while continuing to be profitable. 

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Felicia Gooden has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Facebook, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Facebook, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

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That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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