Our client Appcelerator issued its Q4 2013 Mobile Trends Report just before the New Year, featuring survey data from 6,698 mobile developers around the world. (Created with IDC in an unpaid relationship.) For a solid recap of the report, check out Appcelerator’s blog post by Director of Enterprise Strategy Michael King -- but it has so much great data, we can’t help but blog about it ourselves too. The report gives you a good sneak preview of what to expect in 2014, beginning with Facebook’s emergence as a mobile development leader:

  • Developers went from doubting Facebook’s long-term mobile viability, to now embracing Facebook more than any other social network.

  • 66 percent of developers were connecting their apps to Facebook in 2013 -- 13 percentage points ahead of Twitter, their second choice.

  • Developers have cited Facebook's commitment to native, as well as a savvy API strategy, as the difference-maker over the last 12-15 months.

  • Facebook’s mobile strategy could stand as a model for any enterprise, regardless of industry.

Re-read that last bullet and let it sink in: Facebook’s mobile strategy could stand as a model for any enterprise. (Devindra Hardawar has a good analysis of the report on his VentureBeat post, explaining the three things Facebook did to transform into a mobile development leader.)

The report has another big trend we’ve been noticing for awhile at tMa, which is now backed up by Appcelerator/IDC’s hard numbers: Developers vastly prefer native apps over HTML5. Specifically:

  • Developer interest in building apps on HTML5 had fallen to 59.9 percent, the lowest level since Appcelerator began tracking the specification in April 2011.

InfoWorld’s Paul Krill really gravitated toward this angle in his coverage of the report: Mobile app developers’ interest in HTML5 is slipping.

It makes sense to us over at tMa. HTML5 can’t compete with native apps from a user experience perspective.

To us, this is perhaps the most telling trend heading into 2014. Why? Consider this:

The more native apps become the norm both to consumers and enterprises, the more enterprises will need to become consumer-oriented in nature, embracing mobile-first strategies, deploying app stores, etc.  And for that matter, enterprises could stand to learn from Zuckerberg about leading this charge to mobile development.

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