Facebook: We aren't competing against Apple and Google on apps

Facebook has told Pocket-lint that it is not trying to compete with Apple or Google in the apps stakes, even though it wants more developers to create new applications for the mobile web version of the social network.

Instead, it wants Facebook to be the place where users find and talk about new apps, rather than compete with its own financially lucrative app store.

"We are really focused on social app discovery," said Brett Taylor, Facebook's chief technology officer, when we caught up with him at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. "Our platform is not competitive against iOS and Android. We just want Facebook to be the way we discover apps."

The comments came after the company announced a new initiative to try to make it easier for developers to build apps for the Facebook mobile platform. It allows them to use Facebook's new operator-billing feature in order to make it easier to charge for extras and services.

The social network giant also wants its service to be impartial when it comes to the apps accessed on its platform.

"When you click play on that Spotify song - whether you click play on a native Spotify app or it opens the Spotify mobile website - as far as we are concerned, as long as it was a good user experience we are really happy. We don't have an active agenda to make one more successful than the other, we just hope Facebook is a part of that experience," Taylor added.

"There are a lot of unique capabilities of these native platforms, and so I don't see us promoting the mobile web and HTML 5 at the expense of these platforms. Mobile is just growing so rapidly that all of these platforms are growing. We see our platform as very complementary to all these others. We want to work as best as possible across all of them.

"As a service, it is our strategy to get Facebook into people's hands, in as easy a form factor as possible. And as deeply integrated into your phone as possible."

By not picking sides, it seems.