As we understand it, Project Spartan is the codename for a new platform Facebook is on verge of launching. Its entirely HTML5-based and the aim is to reach some 100 million users in a key place: mobile. More specifically, the initial target is both surprising and awesome: mobile Safari.
Facebook is reportedly trying to break the stranglehold Apple has on mobile app distribution. 80 outside developers are said to working on the project with teams creating apps that range from news readers to games. Zynga and Huffington Post were named as two of those developers. The platform is expected to be unveiled within a few weeks.
TechCrunch writer MG Siegler says he has seen Project Spartan with his own eyes.
Imagine loading up the mobile web version of Facebook and finding a drop-down for a new type of app. Clicking on one of the apps loads it (from whatever server its on depending on the app-maker), and immediately a Facebook wrapper is brought in to surround the app. This wrapper will give the app some basic Facebook functionality, as well as the ability to use key Facebook elements like Credits.
The goal with Project Spartan is apparently to get people using Facebook as the distribution model for applications and not the App Store.