Facebook is giving a boost to Apple's secret smash hit

TimcookStephen Lam/Getty ImagesApple CEO Tim Cook

Back in 2014, Apple introduced Swift — a new programming language for iPhone and Mac apps that it billed as faster, more elegant, and easier to learn than anything else out there.

Since then, Swift has grown into a behind-the-scenes phenomenon in the world of software development. Lyft rewrote its entire iPhone app to run in Swift, and companies like LinkedIn and Facebook are exploring using it for new apps.

Now, Facebook is joining the party with the beta introduction of the Facebook SDK for Swift, a new set of tools for adding stuff like Facebook Login and the Share to Facebook button into apps written in the Swift programming language.

And, because Facebook loves giving software away for free, the source code to the Facebook SDK for Swift is available as open source, for anybody anywhere to download and tinker with to their liking.

Apple has been pitching Swift as the language of choice for people, especially kids, learning to code. And by releasing the language freely as open source, Apple has ensured that Swift has gone beyond the iPhone to platforms including Google’s Android and Linux.

Lots of app developers rely on Facebook-powered features to make their apps easier to use and to analyse their users’ behaviour. By giving Swift developers these tools, Facebook is further empowering them to build real, commercial apps for real, actual humans to use. It’s an implicit recognition by Facebook that Swift is a big deal.

That, in turn, makes sure that the hype train for Apple Swift will keep on rolling, with more developers signing on.

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