Much of Facebook’s success on the iPhone has come courtesy of Joe Hewitt, an ace programmer who joined the world’s largest social networking site when it acquired Parakey, a company he co-founded with Firefox kid Blake Ross. Hewitt has now decided to shift his focus away from the iPhone. In a tweet sent out earlier today he said, “Time for me to try something new. I’ve handed the Facebook iPhone app off to another engineer, and I’m onto a new project.”
Joe was named to GigaOM’s Top 15 Mobile Influencers list earlier this year for his contributions to the iPhone app ecosystem — in particular, for single-handedly turning Facebook into a major force on the iconic Apple device. I recently gave him a hard time over the delays in launching Facebook 3.0, which prompted Joe to stop by our office and take part in an impromptu video chat. Here are the excerpts from that conversation.