All About the New “Facebook Home” Facebook Phone – The Hype, The Reality, and the ‘Why Bother’

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People were waiting on tenterhooks for today’s anticipated announcement of a Facebook phone (or at least a Facebook Android platform, code named “Mobile First”, but now called “Facebook Home”, with its ‘cover feed’). Dubbed by some as the “FacePhone” or “Face Phone”, many are wondering what it will bring to the mobile device world. Facebook Chat Heads are cute, but will the Facebook mobile phone be a game changer? Is it worth switching? Or, why bother? But, if you really want it, we also tell you how to get Facebook Home. Yes, this means that any Android phone can be a Facebook phone. There is no dedicated hardware.



In his presentation, Mark Zuckerberg claimed that the development brings a “New category of experiences – the home screen of your phone. It is the soul of your phone.”

The immediate difference is that your traditional lock screen and home screen are replaced by the Facebook “cover feed”. Basically your Facebook timeline (but customized for mobile and your phone).

In fact, the user experience is intended to be such that Facebook is the phone experience. Basically Facebook becomes the phone environment through which you access other functions.

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Facebook Phone on Power Up



Facebook Cover Feed on Mobile



The other main event is the so-called Facebook Chat Heads. When you get a message from a Facebook friend – or even when you get a regular SMS text message – the notification is that the contact picture of your friend will pop up:


Facebook Chat Head


The Facebook Chat Head includes a snippet of the message.

In other words, it is exactly like every other SMS pop-up notification.

Because your homescreen has been replaced by a Facebook cover feed, you have to swipe up to get to your apps.

But what else, if anything, will be groundbreaking about the phone?

Not much.

At least, nothing of any note for the consumers. But, lots for Facebook.

Accoring to Zuckerberg, half of all top-grossing apps are plugged into Facebook.

Also, says Zuckerberg, people spend three times as much time in the Facebook app as any other app.

Facebook has already captured our eyes and our minds. Maybe even some of our hearts. But capturing our money – how that’s been going really isn’t so clear. And while nobody is saying, Facebook can’t be exempt from the ad blindness that affects people over time. Actually, for some it isn’t just ad blindness, it’s ad contempt.

But phones, ah phones – and mobile generally – are the new revenue frontier for these companies.

We’ve seen it with apps (in-app purchases are a huge driver of revenue). And we’re seeing it more with location-based push advertising.

The Facebook app already takes advantage of your location, and the vast amount of data that Facebook already has stored about you.

When you think of a Facebook phone as basically being one big integrated Facebook app that happens to have some other mobile phone functionality attached to it, you begin to see just what a money-maker this could be for Facebook.

Push individually tailored ads to you as you walk past that coffee shop that you “Liked” last week? Easy peasy.

Push ads for any pizza parlour in your geographic area who gives Facebook money, because you mentioned pizza on your timeline in the past 10 years?

Piece of cake (er…pizza).

You can see the potential – for Facebook.

Question: Why would you want to be advertised to in this way?

Now, maybe if Facebook paid you to carry the phone, that might be somewhat more attractive.

Then again, maybe not. It all depends on how much you value your privacy and time.

If you really want to get and install Facebook Home on your Android phone, here’s how to put Facebook Home on your phone. Assuming that you have a current version of Android running on your phone, just launch your existing Facebook app, and you will see this screen:



Just tap on “Install Now”, and you’ll be running Facebook Home. (You can also try it and then revert back to your regular Android install, you are presented with the option when you install Facebook Home.)


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