Back to learn

Why these 7 big tech companies are using React Native

by Henry Kirkness23 February 2023 5 Min Read

Developing native mobile apps can be expensive and time-consuming. If you want your app to exist on both iOS and Android you generally need to develop the app for both platforms, meaning double the work and often requiring an additional team to maintain the code.

Enter React Native. First launched in 2015, React Native is fully open-sourced and is now used by some of the world’s top brands. Written in JavaScript, a popular programming language widely used on the web. More than 95% of React Native's code is cross-platform meaning only one codebase is needed; solving the issue developing native mobile apps presents.

Read on to find out why these 7 big tech companies transitioned to React Native.

1. Facebook

Meta (Facebook) developed React Native and have built their Facebook app using this framework. What started off as a hackathon project now powers the majority of the company’s apps.

With React Native, they managed to cut the time to market in half while maintaining a native level of performance. Additionally, they were able to bring their web development team onto mobile app development with ease.

Read more about Facebook’s transition to React Native here.

2. Instagram

Acquired by Meta Platforms in 2012, Instagram made the transition to React Native in 2016 shortly after the Facebook App. Despite being a media heavy app with a substantial amount of streaming, the team were able to deliver a fast performing app with a simple UI.

Development velocity was noted to have been slow prior to the rollout of React Native because of the Instagram app’s complex layout and positioning. This was solved by porting React to native. 

Read more about porting React to native here.

3. UberEats

The UberEats app consists of 3 different parts: a dashboard for the restaurants, consumers and delivery-partners. As a result, Uber needed a quick and efficient way to develop and maintain all three dashboards. 

UberEats’ original platform was built web-first on React and since the team had limited experience developing in iOS or Android, the decision was thus taken to use React Native to build the dashboard on mobile devices. Overall, they were positive about their transition to React Native.

Read more on how Uber powered UberEats using React Native.

4. Coinbase Pro

First released in 2013, Coinbase’s iOS and Android apps were originally written in Objective-C and Java respectively. With the rapid growth of the crypto industry, Coinbase struggled with scaling the app and a proposal to explore the possibilities of React Native as a mobile platform was put forward in 2018. 

A new Coinbase Pro app written in React Native was released at the end of 2019 and the original Coinbase app was ultimately rewritten and released in 2020.

Read the full account of Coinbase’s React Native journey here.

5. Words with Friends

A classic for many Facebook gamers, Words With Friends had always been a native app written in Objective-C and Java. When discussions were held regarding the development of Words With Friends 2 in 2017, the Zynga team wanted to “disconnect from the past” by choosing a newer cross-platform framework to speed up development and improve code reusability.

React Native was ultimately chosen owing to its strong support from the Meta Platform’s team and the framework's growing community. It was able to handle generating the complex UI required by the game and brought the game closer to the web ecosystem of Facebook’s other games. 

Read more on why Words With Friends chose to adopt React Native here.

6. Shopify

After years of native mobile development, Shopify decided to make the full switch to React Native in 2019; a big decision given that an average of 69% of sales were done on mobile. The Shopify app didn’t require a lot of processing power and the development team were confident that all modern-day devices could handle bundling the Java Script layer quickly. 

Shopify was predominantly a web-first platform built in React, so the transition to React Native was swift. The rewrite has seen fewer crashes being reported. The switch to React Native also allowed Shopify to swiftly release an Android app since 95% of the code is shared with Android.

Read how Shopify future-proofed itself by moving to React Native.

7. Pinterest

Another big player using React Native is Pinterest. Pinterest first explored the idea of using React Native in 2017. Through an internal hackathon, a prototype of their platform on iOS took only 10 days; they were then able to transfer the code from iOS to Android in 2 days, with 100% of UI code shared between the 2 operating systems.

Performance-wise, the app performed as well as code written in Swift. A React Native app was released in 2018 and Pinterest continues to use React Native to this day.

Read more on Pinterest's journey to adopting React Native here.

Ready to use React Native?

React Native provides a cost-effective and efficient solution for mobile app development. With its cross-platform capabilities, developers can build both iOS and Android apps with a single codebase.

React Native also offers native-like performance and the ability to reuse web code, this alongside the fact that it's a widely used and well-documented technology makes it a popular choice among developers.

Its proven track record, is one of many reasons why we at Planes choose to use React Native. In fact, we've built our fair share of successful apps using React Native, including Skin Rocks and Collectable.

I'm the techy-co-founder at Planes. I love working with our developers and clients to solve technical challenges, whether that's through hands-on coding or coaching and support.
Copied to clipboard!
We think you might like
Get more fresh ideas like this in your inbox
Get more fresh ideas like this in your inbox
Pages loaded on average in 1.0s, emitting
~0.46g of CO2
Let's shake things up
For clients
CJ Daniel-Nield
For careers
Sophie Aspden
People Lead
Everything else
Say hello
Drop us a line