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Google is a 'significant platform for us,' says Facebook

Facebook continues to tout its "mobile first" strategy by highlighting its relationship to Google and the Android operating system.

Mike Shaver, Facebook's director of engineering for mobile.
Donna Tam/CNET

Despite competition continuing to build between the two companies, Facebook says Google is important to the social network's success on mobile.

Mike Shaver, director of engineering for mobile, told a group of reporters today that the company values the openness of Google's Android operating system, which lets engineers figure out and fix problems quickly.

"We're a very significant application to them and they're a very significant platform to us," he said during the presentation at the company's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.

It's no surprise the company wants to focus on the Android operating system. Android powers most of the world's smartphones.

Reports of Facebook pushing employees to use Android phones in hopes of bettering the company's Android products surfaced last year. Facebook released a rewritten native iOS in December, shortly after.

During his presentation, Shaver went over how Facebook was able to utilize the openness of the Android operating system to fix a bug that would have stopped the company from developing for more users. Facebook is publishing the details on the fix on its engineering page today.

Shaver also talked about how this relationship plays into Facebook's overall "mobile first" strategy. He leads the company's intensive mobile training. It's 40 hours long -- eight hours a day, five days a week -- and 450 engineers have been trained since July.

Eighty percent of those trained are software engineers, he said. The remaining people who seek out the training are product mangers, designers, managers, and even a recruiter.

Facebook is now pushing out iOS and Android updates every four weeks, Shaver said. It's a slightly accelerated rate from the four to eight weeks estimation the company gave in September. While the iOS updates have to go through Apple's approval process before they go live, Android users get the updates as soon as the code is ready.