When you’re software development agency keep talking about React, they’re not asking you to respond to something they’ve just said, they’re talking about React.js – the library that allows them to quickly and efficiently build user interfaces.

Brought to you by none other than the team behind the mighty Facebook, React is a library system designed for building interactive user interfaces in JavaScript. JavaScript is one of the most popular global programming languages, giving you and your software development team a wide variety of options to build on.

Like many popular programming languages and frameworks, Facebook made React open source, which means that it is accessible and can be maintained and improved by the wider development community. This means that it is of course suitable for many more applications than simply social media.

Open source and JavaScript together mean that your new React based project will be understandable and accessible to the majority of the relevant development community, helping you to ensure that your new business application will have a shelf life that isn’t limited by the technology it’s built on, or the developer who built it. This frees you up to enjoy the luxury of working with larger teams and to consider how best to scale and future proof without worrying about breaking the bank.

So why do I need to take an interest in React.js?

Well, if you’re a software development client you’re probably considering a new web build or app, or you will at some point be looking to enhance, upgrade or improve the front end interface of your existing product. And if you want to find some pretty good examples of how to get people to interact with your product, you probably wouldn’t fins a better pair of examples than Facebook and Instagram, both of whom have made good use of React.

It’s a given that React is fast and scalable, and the wide level of community support and maturity of the development community around mean that you can call on a wide pool of technological resource to bring your new business vision to reality.

React encourages developers to think creatively about front end usability and customer experience. It’s component based system allows them to create complex user interfaces with a relatively simple to manage building block system. For example, both the name entry line on a form and the submit button on the same form could be React components which would then fit within the higher level component of the entire form. Components can even be reused, meaning that development and redevelopment costs can be lower, and strong brand identities are easy to maintain.

The addition of React Native to the family allows mobile app development to be completed in JavaScript, combining seamlessly with native code when required. This allows for fast and flexible mobile app development.

Another very useful feature is React’s ability to use a data cache that only updates parts that specifically update when refreshing, for example, the complex Instagram news feed and other massive data sets with fast moving front interfaces. This makes for greatly reduced loads and better user experience, which can make all the difference to a new app build in a highly competitive sector.