In 2015, two years after its initial open source release, React took the position formerly held by Angular as the darling of the web. It’s used on some of the biggest sites in the world, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Netflix, Airbnb, Uber, NFL, Dropbox, Asana, Atlassian, Khan Academy, Flipkart, Imgur, Reddit, Paypal, WalMart, WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, etc.
Let’s be clear though: any UI you can build with React you can also build without React. React’s value proposition is that it simplifies your UI code, making it easier to build and maintain: it is declarative, component-based, uses one-way data flow, and has an API that most developers can become productive with in an afternoon. The people at Facebook have had so much success with it on the web that they thought – hey, wouldn’t it be great if we could write native mobile apps like this too? And so React Native was born, and the mobile development landscape will never look the same again.
I work at Exponent (exponentjs.com) where we’re building a platform to deliver mobile experiences that combine the best of web and native. I’m a core contributor to React Native, compiler of the React Native Newsletter (reactnative.cc) and an organizer of React.js Conf 2016.