So the scoop for today was that Facebook is announcing a new smart phone application for android called Facebook Home. The android application is not available for download yet, but should be available in roughly one week.
There’s been a lot of speculation about Facebook wanting to come out with their own smart phone, but Facebook has openly said that they don’t want to produce their own smart phone; and this is actually a wise move, because the better move is to let the smartphone makers do what they do and then create an application like Facebook Home that replaces the natural home button of the smartphones.
So Facebook wasn’t actually looking to produce their own smart phone, they’re looking to create an application that takes over your smart phone. With Facebook Home, users that really enjoy Facebook and are entirely in immersed into its services will love the application; making the possibility of loyal Facebook users going to another social networking service like Google a huge 2nd step.
Facebook Home is a good strategic step for the giant. Facebook Home makes sure that you are connected to their services your dependent upon their applications and this gives the advertisers and potential advertisers that want to go to Facebook a certainty that there advertisements are going to get to you on your phone.
The presentation of Facebook Home have lots of people there for attendance with the overall presentation of Facebook Home wasn’t overly exciting. There wasn’t really anything that really made it jump out and surprise people.
One thing that was concerning about the press conference was that throughout the presentation of Facebook Home, the presenters get kept using phrases like “throwing your friends away” or “flicking your friends away” and it was a kind of slap in the face for people who use Facebook to create social connections. If you’re trying to create social connections with something like Facebook Home, you don’t want to throw away your friends or flick them away; it sounds disrespectful.
How the presenters were using these phrases makes you wonder how Facebook looks at the individual users who use their services all the time. The presenters could easily use other phrases like placing their friends on hold or placing their friends on the side other than using a devaluing phrase like throwing them away.
The presentation of Facebook Home wasn’t that glamorous and what actually brought the presentation down a little bit further was a commercial for the HTC first smart phone. The HTC first is a new phone is going to be offered exclusively through AT&T, which has also partnered with Facebook to be the first phone that is released with Facebook Home integrated. So again, or seeing that Facebook doesn’t want to have their own smart phone, but they do want to have the most dominant application on smart phones.
One of the presenters made it a point to say that android was an open operating system. Android is also the most popular operating system across smart phones and tablets. So replacing the home function on Android phone makes perfect sense, and it’s easy enough to do; android provides the ability to completely customize the user experience through the operating system— that’s exactly what Facebook is doing with Facebook Home.
Another term that the presenters were using a lot, and it’s a new function of Facebook Home that they were really excited about, was the ChatHeads. ChatHeads were little bubble icons that popped up on the smartphone screen that users could place pretty much anywhere. When the users clicked on the ChatHeads, the messaging application from the phone would pop up allowing you to chat with that person directly. ChatHeads seems to be the most obtuse name that the developers could’ve worked up in their minds. Chat bubbles sound so much better than ChatHeads.
What’s interesting about the presentation is that the Facebook Home application was not mentioned for the iPhone. I don’t see how Apple would allow Facebook to replace their base function with iOS that clearly benefits only one service and one application. It makes sense that Facebook Home will eventually show up on the iPhone, but perhaps in a different form or as just a application. But I don’t see Apple allowing Facebook to change the way their flagship product, iPhone, functions. Steve Jobs would roll over in his grave.
During the course of the presentation consistent questions Popping up in regards to how a application like this, Facebook Home, is going to affect the overall battery life of the smart phone and potentially the amount of data usage this application might consume.
Facebook Home is going to be available for download from the Google play market in approximately one week and is supposed to be available for tablets here in a few months. Facebook Home places a definite threat to Google and their Google service if more users replace their home button with Facebook Home. If nothing else Facebook Home will spark another race of rapid release improvements to Google< not to mention other social services that might be trying to compete for your social sharing attention.
Larry Henry Jr.
…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5