Why Use React.JS: Examples of Facebook, Netflix and Others
The easiest way to choose a technical stack for your project is to follow companies that have already succeeded. In this article, we review famous websites using React and explain its capabilities.
React.JS is a library used for programming reusable UI (user interface) components for both mobile and web apps. (Not to be confused with a language, framework or React Native, which is a tool for mobile apps development).
React can be useful for many projects – from small startups to large and complex applications. It allows using dynamic data without reloading the whole page (e.g., interactive elements). It’s fast, simple, declarative, scalable, and has quickly achieved huge popularity among the web-based businesses.
Currently, there are more than 2 million websites that are React customers. Moreover, it has the highest share of high trafficking websites. Let’s take a look at specific examples.
The leading online social media platform is the original creator of the React.JS library. It all started in 2011 when their code needed an urgent update due to rapid growth. React was their extraordinary solution – a technology allowing different contents on the page to refresh instantly according to user actions. The creators claimed that React could respond to those actions in less than milliseconds.
Today, they use React partially, both in web and mobile applications. For example, the main page, Facebook Ads manager, and mobile app are built with React and React Native. It provides a high-speed rendering for 2.2 billion users across the globe, allowing convenient access to their newsfeeds even when the Internet connection is not great.
Furthermore, the Facebook team puts a lot of effort into growing React and the community around it. They currently presented a beta of React Fiber, a complete rewrite version of React.JS, with more features.
The mega-popular social media app for sharing photos and videos is built completely with React. The ability to determine geolocation, Google Maps APIs, progressive loading, media storage, the accuracy of search, cropping and padding transformation, tags that pop out without hashtags – the list of features goes on and on and is really impressive. All such things are often done on React.
After Facebook bought Instagram, they decided to develop a web app to increase traffic. Of course, React was chosen for this task. The website is not only packed with cool features but is also fast and highly responsive.
For such a popular e-mail client, excellent reliability and performance are needed more than anything. When it came to rewriting Yahoo as a next-generation mail platform, the engineers working on it had to make a lot of upgrades. They compared many technologies, including Angular JS and Ember JS, and React was their choice. Several reasons were behind it, as they explain it on Tumblr:
- One-way reactive data flow
- Virtual DOM, which allows client- and server-side rendering
- Shorter learning curve
- Easy debugging
- Independently deployable components
- Predictable flow
- Growing and active community
Due to React, this service has become more orderly in terms of architecture.
This daily-used social media giant is another example of a high-trafficking website using React. It provides free instant messaging services to 1.5 billion users in 180 countries globally. To ensure the highest efficiency, WhatsApp uses some of the most popular engines, such as Velocity.JS and Underscore.JS. Its new web app has also been using React to give a better experience to the users, just like the mentioned above Facebook.
Although there were several betas before the official launch, the WhatsApp team decided to use React to create user interfaces. The enhanced features of this library helped them create an exemplar of end-to-end encrypted communication.
Yes, the famous streaming service also “likes React,” as they say it. The platform pays a lot of attention to detail and high performance. When they decided to bring their platform to a new level in 2015, then existing technology stack needed a replacement.
As Netflix engineers stated in the blog post:
Our decision to adopt React was influenced by a number of factors, most notably: 1) startup speed, 2) runtime performance, and 3) modularity.
React helped them perfect user interface architecture, and upgrade experience for TVs and game consoles. But most actively, it is used on the Gibbon platform. Its ability to adjust the settings for low-performance TVs helps speed up loading and increase performance – exactly what React.js is great for.
This service allows storing and sharing unlimited files via the cloud, as well as organizing work and coordinating teams. In the wake of its popularity, React.js attracted the attention of Dropbox engineers.
The service benefited from the plethora of React resources, most of all, from reusable components. For example, they improved accessibility due to self-developed components like dropdown menus and tree views. These components can now be conveniently reused in different areas of the website interface.
Probably one of the best project management tools also runs on React. The service allows you to assign tasks to members, organize, set deadlines. It also provides note adding functionality for created groups.
Since its launch in 2008, Asana is constantly growing. As for 2018, over 30,000 customers worldwide use the application, including top companies. No wonder that Asana experienced problems while scaling up. That is why they have completely rewritten the interface using React. Moreover, their mobile app is based on React Native.
React helps Asana to address client-side performance issues. Running Virtual DOM solved many user interface problems, including animations. They also say React was a perfect choice because of the small size of the code and the possibility of its integration with Luna.
The New York Times.
The media giant adopted React nearly three years ago, and so far, it has served them well. The reason for that was their desire to make the website faster and easier.
As of August 2019, the worlds’ leading digital & print newspaper had almost 4.7 million paid subscriptions to their online products. All its users benefited from a renewed platform based on a combination of Node, React.js, and GraphQL. The entire online world of The New York Times received a more stable and interactive front end. For example, their Red Carpet Project uses React for a fast re-rendering of a massive gallery of photos you can scroll and filter.
In the end, numerous benefits of React.JS have caused many web giants to upgrade to this technology. Its improved performance and development efficiencies can help create a perfect interface and user experience, which is important for any business.