The next generation Internet protocol is coming to Facebook a few weeks early — for developers, that is.
Developers will be able to begin tinkering with the IPv6 version of Facebook on May 18, to prepare for the Internet’s global upgrade to the broader set of addresses on June 6.
Facebook had participated in a test of this new protocol one year prior, on June 8, 2011. IPv6 will provide more than four billion times as many addresses as the current IPv4 (The number skips because the experimental protocol IPv5 proved unfit to launch).
With the World IPv6 Launch coming on June 6th 2012, Facebook has committed to enabling IPv6 access for our users on most of our HTTP and HTTPS endpoints. Based on the results of last years IPv6 test on June 8th 2011, we are confident that enabling IPv6 on our platform will be a success. On May 18th, we will be enabling IPv6 on beta.facebook.com ahead of World IPv6 Launch to give our developer community time to discover issues and report bugs back to us.
IPv6 is vital because the Internet’s original addressing system (IPv4) has run out of free space. Since every device on the Internet relies on a unique address to communicate, we must transition to IPv6 which provides over 4 billion times more addresses than IPv4. IPv6 will ensure everyone (users, ISPs, governments, and companies) have direct and open access to the Internet.