Facebook is reportedly planning to launch its own web-based platform to offer applications on Apple's iOS.
News site TechCrunch cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter in reporting that Facebook is preparing a service code-named 'Project Spartan'.
The report suggests that the platform is based on HTML 5 and designed to run on the Safari browser that powers Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Project Spartan could then serve as a portal for Facebook applications running through Safari.
The move would allow Facebook to avoid Apple's notoriously tight controls on the App Store, particularly in regards to applications that could pose a threat to Apple's branded software offerings.
Facebook currently offers an iOS native application which provides access to basic social networking functions such as news feeds, comments and wall postings.
The company has long sought to move beyond its core social networking components and build a larger platform, and is recruiting third-party developers to its service.
The platform has proved hugely successful in many instances, spawning such social gaming hits as Farmville and Mafia Wars.
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