React.js, commonly referred to as React, was created by Facebook and initially deployed on Facebook’s newsfeed in 2011. It was later open-sourced in 2013, allowing developers outside of Facebook to use and contribute to the framework.
React was developed as a solution to address the challenges of building large-scale, dynamic user interfaces with complex data that needed to be updated efficiently. It introduced a component-based architecture and a virtual DOM for optimizing UI updates.
React gained popularity quickly due to its performance, simplicity, and reusability. It provided a declarative programming model, allowing developers to describe what the UI should look like based on the application’s state, and React took care of updating the UI accordingly.
React has also seen continuous improvement with regular updates and releases. Facebook and the React community have introduced additional features, performance optimizations, and tools to enhance the development experience, such as React Hooks for managing state and side effects, React Router for handling routing, and Redux for managing application state.
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, React is an actively maintained and evolving framework, with ongoing development and a strong ecosystem of libraries and resources supporting its usage.