Facebook announced that it’s rolling out a new software development kit for Parse, a company it acquired in 2013 that provides a cloud backend for app developers. At its F8 developer conference today, Facebook’s goal of the new Software development is to make it easy for apps built on Parse to share data with connected devices like smart locks and lightbulbs.
Facebook likely hopes that this will make it easy for data to flow into the social network, so people can easily get notified in your news feed or on Messenger when your garage door opens or your connected flower pot is running out of water.
Parse CEO Ilya Sukhar announced that Facebook would offer a software development kit for the Parse platform to developers building connected devices (just as it previously did for mobile app developers). He also said that the social network would put Parse SDKs on the Arduino Yún microcontroller board, will work to pre-install the SDK on other hardware platforms and is releasing an open source Embedded C version of the code aimed at both Linux (so you could load it on a Raspberry Pi) and other real time operating systems commonly used in the embedded world.
Facebook already has nabbed customers such as Chamberlain, which makes a connected garage door opener called the MyQ, and Roost, a startup that makes a novel WiFi battery that turns existing smoke detectors into connected smoke detectors.
For Facebook, this could be the beginning of competing with other cloud providers for a role in the burgeoning Internet-of-things, Ironically, it has yet to move the Parse platform over to its own infrastructure. Instead, most of the Parse platform is still hosted on the Amazon cloud, where Parse originally built its platform. So Facebook is competing to provide a cloud backend for the Internet-of-things — on someone else’s cloud. At least for now.