React VS React Native

React and its younger sibling React Native are JavaScript frameworks developed at Facebook.

They are each the opposite side of the same coin, which is the currency that we at Parsed prefer to use for application development.

React and React Native are responsible for many popular applications such as Facebook Messenger or the Facebook app itself, as well as its offspring Instagram.

The frameworks get their name because of their constantly changing data. The data will react to whatever a user is up to when using the application in question.

While each have similarities, and work very well together, each one does completely different tasks. The goal for today’s article is to define these differences.

The simple answer is that React works on web applications, and React Native is its mobile counterpart. However, when looked at further, it becomes much more complicated than that.

What is React?

React is a JavaScript library used to build user interfaces (UI) created by Facebook back in 2011.

What React does is divide the project down into many neat components of output to work with.

For example, a website usually has different sections for different subjects such as this blog.

These sections are isolated and worked on individually.

Here is a good video that describes why React is popular and what it can do.

Examples of React Apps


React is behind the development of Facebook itself, as well as its offspring: Instagram.

The New York Times

The website for the New York Times was created using this framework as well.


An example of a project undertaken by Parsed using React is what we created for the team at Erin


Another example is PushPress, a gym management software business.

React allowed these startups and well established tech companies to build cross platform applications, and support them.

What is React Native?

React Native is the mobile counterpart to its elder, React.

The framework was released in 2015 by Facebook, and is used to develop cross-platform mobile applications for user interfaces.

In the past, a company had to build separate apps for iOS and Android. Often this meant 2x developers, 2x support, 2x project management, and so on.

Companies either made a business decision to only release on one platform, or they made a business decision to invest in both.

Today, React Native allows startups like Erin and established tech companies like AirBnb to create cross platform mobile applications.

The decision to use React Native meant the company only needed to build a single code base, and they could reach users across the iOS and Android ecosystems.

While there are other frameworks that support cross platform development, React Native is considered the best and is widely recognized throughout the industry (as compared to Google’s Flutter, which has yet to truly shine).

It uses the technical language JavaScript, gives access to multiple libraries, and has strong code structure and development time.

Examples of React Native Apps

Facebook Messenger

While React is behind the development of Facebook, React Native has created the texting and messaging addition to the app: Facebook Messenger.

Instagram App

Of course, as Instagram is related to the Facebook family, Instagram was built on React Native as well. As stated, this framework is incredibly popular in the industry, and is responsible for creating many apps for well known companies such as Walmart, Uber, and AirBnb.

Catholic Match

CatholicMatch established it’s brand on web early on in the growth of online dating, and when they expanded to mobile the experienced team made a decision to use React Native so they could maintain one code base for both app stores.

DJ City

DJ City used React Native to deliver a responsive, cross platform mobile application to it’s client base..

React VS React Native

Both React and React Native are well known frameworks seeing tremendous growth throughout the technical industry.

React opens a doorway towards better and easier development for web apps, and React Native supports cross platform mobile applications.

They work extraordinarily well together for covering all possible platforms such as websites and both mobile platforms (iOS and Android).

Parsed specializes in building cross platform web and mobile applications using React and React Native.

Do you need assistance in developing an application using React or React Native?

Contact us at Parsed and we’ll help you to decide if React/React Native is the right framework for you, and guide you in the process.

About Us

Parsed ( is a mobile development company that specializes in React and React Native.

We build mobile applications, augment in-house teams with React expertise, and we help companies to staff great React developers.

We are a team of passionate developers, project managers, and designers that help companies to release apps on both iOS and Android.

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