Does Netflix, Instagram, or Facebook sound familiar to you by any chance? Do you wonder which technology helped develop those web apps? If the answer is yes, then you should take a look at these few examples of applications made with React.
More and more companies are deciding on implementing the technology, either in their already existing apps or in brand new ones. And in all honesty, they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
That being said, let’s find out which popular web applications are made with React!
What is React JS?
Before heading into the details, did you know that before the library was named React, it was known as FaxJS? It was its early prototype version.
React JS was created by Jordan Walke in 2011; in 2013 it was released to the public and became open source. From that moment on, React JS has seen a rise in popularity and has been maintained by Facebook ever since. Nowadays, React is chosen by more than 7.4 million users, according to statistics found on GitHub. And that speaks for itself.
But what exactly does it do?
Building user interfaces or single-page applications are just a glimpse of what developers can achieve with the library. React includes many functionalities like virtual DOM, JSX, and many others that developers may find extremely useful. A wide range of impressive features and benefits of using the library definitely influences its popularity.
Why Should You Choose React?
With the multitude of available frameworks and libraries on the market, React seems like just one of the options. The question is, why should you choose it? To answer this, we need to dive a little deeper into the list of the library’s impressive features, and when we say impressive, we mean it.
We don’t want to put emphasis on explaining the technology itself, as it has been covered on our blog already. We simply want you to get a glimpse of what it can do.
Most importantly, the React library is easy to learn compared to other web development frameworks. However, aspiring developers may feel a little bit overwhelmed with the JSX that the library includes. No worries though, it’s optional.
What’s also worth noting is that the technology is doing really well in terms of performance. Along with its versatility, it’s no wonder that it tops the popularity lists.
Probably one of the key features of the library are independent components that can be reused across different projects. Thanks to them, developers can write one React code and use it in different ways in various applications.
As you can see above, building user interfaces, a web app, or a single-page application shouldn’t be a problem when using React. Taking into account all of the above, we can safely assume that React development is worth considering, but of course, there are various other advantages.
Additionally, if you know the regular React JS library, it would be much easier for you to learn React Native with which you can develop a mobile app for operating systems like Android or iOS.
Popular React Web Apps
There are tons of applications built with React, some very popular ones, and those less famous. Just as the title of this article suggests, we’re going to focus on the well-known and widely used ones.
The first entry on our list belongs to Facebook, obviously. However, Mark Zuckerberg’s platform not only uses regular React but also the React Native framework used for developing mobile apps.
React JS was used for the front-end development of Facebook’s page, which means that changes can happen in real-time without the need of refreshing the entire page.
But why did Facebook decide on the creation of new technology in the first place? To answer this question we need to head back in time to the year 2011. By that time, Facebook had stumbled upon code issues, mainly with its maintenance. Growing Facebook Ads application didn’t make it any easier. On the contrary, the pace of updates made the team slowly lose grip on the application and that could not continue. Eventually, all these events led to the creation of the library that we all now know as React JS.
New York Times
This entry may come as a surprise, as it’s not the typical application you would expect here. That doesn’t change the fact that the New York Times developed an app called the Red Carpet Project using the library in question. The idea behind it was to create a page where users could simulate various looks of celebrities on the red carpet.
What’s more, New York Times’ website is also running React on the front-end to handle the connection between data and the UI. Interestingly, NYT allows users to create their own news websites using the website’s API.
Moreover, the New York Times also used React Native to deliver the best mobile experience possible to their readers on mobile platforms.
Instagram, the world’s biggest picture-sharing platform, is also one of the biggest users of the library. Let’s see.
Google Maps API? React.
In fact, Instagram’s web application is entirely based on it. That doesn’t come as a surprise, though. After all, Instagram is owned by Facebook, and so is React.
How did it start? Well, React’s first place of implementation on Instagram was the user’s main profile page.
WhatsApp is known around the world as one of the most popular communicators, but did you know that it’s yet another Facebook product?
And since WhatsApp is owned by this social media giant, you would assume that it probably uses React, right? Well, that would be a perfectly correct assumption! Similar to other Facebook-owned products, WhatsApp uses the library, along with Velocity.js and Underscore.js engines. However, that’s not the case with WhatsApp’s desktop app. This one uses Electron.js, however, that doesn’t prevent the app from using any other framework or library.
Netflix even provided a report in which they explained where and why they use the library. Why? Because the company wanted to speed up the startup, enhance the performance of the runtime and modularity. Where? In the front-end of their web application.
Yet another Facebook-owned platform that uses React. Yahoo! Mail had gone a very long way before deciding to put its money on that technology. C++, HTML, Java, or Python were just a few technologies used along the way.
React’s virtual DOM, along with strong community support, and reusable components were some of the reasons why Yahoo! chose the library. Yahoo! Mail has been using React for six years already, as it was implemented in 2015.
When it comes to Dropbox, React is responsible for handling traffic and data across the platform. The website jumped ship from CoffeeScript to TypeScript in 2017 but started using React in 2016, a year before the migration.
Not so long ago, Khan Academy struggled with bad loading times and an unsatisfying overall experience of the website. Then, it was time for a change, as Khan Academy decided to put a stop to it by replacing the old with the new, in this case – React.
By doing so, the Khan Academy team was able to reduce loading speed, eliminate unnecessary re-renders, and much more.
We’ve listed some of the most popular apps built with React, but that doesn’t mean it ends right there. There are more applications on the market that either use technology in parts of development or are entirely developed with the library.
Some notable ones are:
- And more.
We’ve listed the most popular web applications that use React (and React Native occasionally). From streaming platforms, through social media, to mail inboxes, or storage. As you can see, the library can be used for developing all sorts of applications.
Nowadays, React developers are having a lot of work. Not only in terms of learning new features, but also in terms of web development. React components along with all of the library’s features make it such a great technology.
So go ahead, either solo or with a development team, give React (and React Native) a chance, and see how it can help you build your dream project.