Facebook's "HTML5 move" is all spin

The tame Apple press was all a flutter when it appeared that Facebook seems to have signed up to Apple’s spat with Adobe.

Steve Jobs has launched a personal campaign against Adobe Flash and is insisting that Apple and people who do business with the outfit don’t use it and instead use HTML5.

Facebook adoption of HTML5 video playback would be a bit of a coupe in the anti-adobe war.  It would mean that Facebook has had to agree with Steve Jobs if it wants its content to be played on the iPad and iPhone.   So Steve Jobs has had a major victory and all part of the evolution to HTML5, right?

Well not quite. The problem is that Facebook videos only play on the iPad or iPhone, but Techcrunch  noted that this was through an h264 player. HTML5 is not actually used at all.

Techcrunch confirmed that all new videos are encoded in h264 format.  You are not playing videos natively in the iPad because of HTML5 but because it supports h264-encoded videos.

In fact, Facebook is not moving to Jobs’ Mob’s HTML5 vision at all and is simply considering it for the future.

If you add in the fact that Facebook is not a big fan of Apple, you get a slightly different picture. Facebook was one of the first applications ready to go alongside the initial launch of the App Store in 2008.

However, the creator of the Facebook iPhone app, Joe Hewitt, stopped development on it because he hated App Store policies.

Facebook said it brought in a team to replace him, but it has not come up with anything.

True, it is still a poke in the eye for Adobe and Flash but not quite a full victory for Jobs’Mob which is being spun.