Facebook preparing HTML5 iOS app platform

TechCrunch reports that Facebook has 80 external developers working on apps for Project Spartan, an HTML5 platform aimed squarely at iOS devices. It won’t be distributed through the App Store, but through Safari: a Facebook-branded portal to apps and games, playable in the iOS browser by virtue of being built in HTML5 instead of Flash. Zynga is reportedly on board, and Spartan will support Facebook Credits, helping the social network’s proprietary payment system reach some 100 million mobile users.