On Thursday Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met before a packed room of reporters and launched a new software called Facebook Home that moves Facebook content to the front screen of an Android device, making it one step closer to socialize with Facebook friends.
“Today we’re going to finally going to talk about that Facebook phone. But more accurately, we’re going to talk about how you’re going to turn your Android phone into a great simple social device” CEO Zuckerberg said on Thursday.
CEO Zuckerberg clarified what differentiates Facebook Home from other tech innovations as the company seeks to improve the overall experience of its user interface and expand its mobile presence across wider spectrums.
Facebook Home pushes the company even closer to Google in head to head competition while using Google’s open and dominant Android operating system which it shares.
By launching Facebook Home the company is becoming like Amazon since both companies now have the ability to carve out their own niches on Google’s Android operating system and minimize Google’s footprint.
New Facebook Home users will soon be left deciding whether they want to connect with their Facebook friends using an enhanced Facebook instant messaging system that is integrated with SMS text messages instead of relying on Google’s Gmail and powerful search engine which generates ad revenue for Google.
“We’re not building a phone and we’re not building an operating system,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “But we’re also building something that’s a whole lot deeper than just another app” he added.
Facebook Home comes with “Cover Feed” which are images that instantly appear with updated posts from friends on the screen’s background display.
Facebook is hoping that their users will have an easier time more regularly checking their news feed and updated posts from friends and family while out in the supermarket or getting a cup of coffee.
To “like” something requires on two taps of the finger.
Photos can be flipped around or easily commented on.
Initially, Facebook will not display ads on the home screen but ads are expected to appear in the future.
Some analysts questions whether Facebook Home users will want to constantly want to remain on Facebook while operating their mobile phone.
Brian Blair, a senior research analyst at Wedge Partners, was interviewed yesterday on Blooomberg West and was questioned if Facebook Home will change the mobile phone experience at large.
“I think what they can do is they can get people to use Facebook for a longer stretch of the day” he said.
Blair later admitted, “If they can get people to use this then the engagement it goes up 400 or 500 percent and that’s the opportunity and that’s why Facebook is doing this. That’s where the ad opportunity is.”
“But that’s just unclear whether people want to constantly be in Facebook. Right now people want to get in and get out” Blair explained.
Facebook Home software will be available for download for free from Google Play on April 12.
Taiwan smartphone maker HTC is launching the first new phone with Facebook Home pre-installed, and AT&T has exclusive rights to sell the phone for only $99.00.