Let’s face it – the digital world is changing as we speak. In such reality, it is definitely hard to adapt to trends. However, that is exactly what the big names in the industry are doing.

Major apps like Facebook, Instagram, Netflix and others are constantly improving their experience and adapting to new frameworks and trends.

As of recently, there is a big word of mouth going around ReactJS and its impressive features.

In case you still haven’t heard about the potential of ReactJS, they are numerous. Basically, React has become very popular among developers and there are lots of resources that make most of its technical merits – just like NodeJS and numerous other related JavaScript frameworks/tools.

The proof for its popularity is best described by the apps that are using ReactJS – and today, we are showing you the list of most impressive apps based on ReactJS.

What is React?

To cut a long story short, React is a JavaScript library for building User Interfaces. Very often it’s misinterpreted as tool, framework, language. React allows developers to create large web applications that use data which can change over time, without reloading the page. Its main goal is to be fast, simple and scalable. React processes only user interface in applications (source).

It is simply a JavaScript runtime. Lightweight, fast and modern way to execute code on your computer.

What reason are the biggest companies using React for?

#1 Facebook

Although partially, Facebook is making use of ReactJS. Their webpage is built with React, as the script that is blended in the application code. The mobile app is also build with a version of React called React Native which is similar, although responsible for displaying the iOS and Android native components instead of the DOM elements.

Interestingly, Facebook was the place where the ReactJS library was initially created, which is why it is obvious for the app to use it. Facebook currently opened a beta of its completely rewritten ReactJS, called React Fiber.

#2 Instagram

The use of ReactJS within Instagram is huge. A proof for that are the numerous features including the geo locations, Google Maps APIs, search engine accuracy as well as tags that pop out without hashtags. IT is all there in the API of the app – and is really impressive.

Instagram is completely based on the ReactJS library and has let fans fully adapt to its amazing features.

Instagram uses ReactJS

#3 Netflix

The React version works with Netflix too – specifically on their platform called Gibbon which is used for low-performance TV devices instead of the DOM used in web browsers. Netflix has even published an official blog post explaining how the ReactJS library helps their startup speed, runtime performance, modularity and various other advantages.

As the UI engineers at Netflix state 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.

Netflix NodeJS User Interface

#4 New York Times

A couple of months ago, New York Times has designed a great new project that simulates different looks of stars on Oscar red carpet. Obviously, this project’s interface was built in React and lets users filter the gallery of different photos from 19 years in a nice way. The re-rendering on this project is only one of the impressive features we can thank ReactJS for.

Justin Heideman backs these reasons up in his blog post on NYTimes Open, stating that:

Within our app we create lightweight, single responsibility Stores. A Store is responsible for managing a particular data request.

New York Times uses ReactJS

#5 Yahoo! Mail

Surprisingly (or not), Yahoo!’s mail client also uses React. Since Facebook owns Yahoo! nowadays, the idea of a solid and unified architecture is there, and that is why React was incorporated in as many bits and pieces as possible. The architecture that is specifically built with React as a piece of it can be seen here – and the Yahoo! developers are summing it up as easier to work with the code and a lot better.

The engineers working on the Yahoo Mail platform needed a lot of upgrades. As they say in a blog post on Tumblr:

For the next generation Yahoo Mail platform, we wanted

  • Predictable flow ~ Easy Debugging
  • Independently deployable components
  • Shorter learning curve 
  • No dependency on large platform libraries

In the end we decided to go with React JS and Flux because of the following reasons

  • React implements one-way reactive data flow
  • Virtual DOM allows client and server side rendering
  • Code in Javascript
  • Growing and active community

yahoo mail using reactjs

Image source

#6 Khan Academy

A lot of parts of Khan Academy are based on React currently. One of their developers, Joel Burget, shared his personal experience with the ReactJS library and how it differentiates to the traditional Backbone script they were previously using. He obviously defines it as a worthy upgrade and carefully goes through most of the important features – including the element changing in an efficient way and the elimination of unnecessary re-renders.

#7 WhatsApp

Although there were several betas before it was officially launched, the WhatsApp uses ReactJS for building user interfaces from Facebook, just like it uses Underscore.js and Velocity.js as some of its most efficient engines. As of recently, the all-new WhatsApp Web app has also been using React, just like the Facebook web experience mentioned above.

whatsapp uses reactjs

Image source

#8 Vivaldi Browser

One of the technologies behind the popular Vivaldi Browser is the ReactJS library. The engine that this browser is using is named ‘Blink’ and is pretty much the same as Google’s Chrome, built on HTML5, ReactJS, JS, CSS3 and many other engines.

#9 Codecademy

As of August 2014, Codecademy has decided to fully incorporate Facebook’s library. ReactJS was obviously a part of it – and is still one of the key scripts that are based into the app.

From the header to the menu and even the navigation, the ReactJS use is all there on Codeacademy, created as a logical solution that packs all the components for the various pieces.

According to everyone at Codeacademy, some of the aspects that they appreciate about react are the fact that the script is battle-tested, easy to think about, makes SEO easy and is compatible with legacy code and flexible enough for the future.

Also, it provokes building a community and lets you stop worrying about boilerplate.

As they say in their blog post on InfoQ:

React is a lightweight, powerful, battle-tested library for building user interfaces with JavaScript. It’s not a full framework, but rather a powerful tool that may well change the way you approach front-end development. We’ve found it to be an incredibly useful tool for our frontend development, and we’re very happy with our choice.

Codecademy uses ReactJS

#10 Dropbox

Dropbox has switched to ReactJS over a year ago. Just at the time when React became very popular amongst app developers.

The plethora o resources that are part of this framework are efficiently utilized by Dropbox as well – widely contributing to the success of this amazing cloud based storage service and online backup solution.

Dropbox uses ReactJS

A Final Word

In the end, the reduced risk, ReactJS development efficiencies, improved effectiveness and numerous organizational benefits have all been reasons for the big names in apps to upgrade to ReactJS and exploit the amazing benefits offered by this script. And even though every framework upgrade takes its toll regarding time and costs, it is absolutely worth it when it comes to creating the perfect user experience – be it on a web or a mobile app.

Matt Warcholinski

Matt Warcholinski is the COO of Brainhub (a software house building awesome node.js web and mobile apps) who loves to build startups and play guitar.

Follow Me:

Read also