Facebook Home is now available for download in the Google Play store. But the jury is out on how successful the suite of Android apps will be.
Facebook Home aims to offer up your friends' latest updates on your home screen and messages that reach you no matter what you're doing. All you have to do is download it and sign in to your Facebook account to experience what the social media and smartphone worlds have been buzzing about for the past couple of weeks.
But if you are curious, yet lack an Android device -- and in particular the HTC One X and One X+, the Samsung Galaxy S III and Note II, the only devices deemed compatible for now -- to experiment with, here's some of what you can expect: Cover Feed, a constant stream of photos and updates from your News Feed, is always present when you wake up your phone.
You can swipe through to see more photos and updates, double tap to "like" a post and comment right from Cover Feed. Other features include Notifications, Chat Heads that let you jump in and out of conversations while you do other things on the device, and app launching that lets you see your favorite apps and post to Facebook from the same place.
We asked Avi Greengart, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his take on Facebook Home. He told us he's trying to download it on one of his compatible devices but has not had the full experience yet. Once he downloads it, he understands that it will take over his entire user experience and offer a more immersive Facebook experience.
"The nice thing about Facebook Home from the consumer perspective is that if you don't like it, you can cut it off. So it does encourage experimentation. But it's not necessarily for everybody," he said. "Even for hardcore Facebook users, the people I have surveyed have been fairly dismissive of Home. They tell me they already spend too much time on Facebook and don't necessarily want their phone to be even more Facebook-centric and relegate things like e-mail or tasks or apps to one level down."
As Greengart sees it, Facebook has its work cut out to explain to consumers what the real benefits are. Although Facebook has a loyal and extremely large following, the limited number of phones on which Home works may lead to a slow uptake.
The HTC Impact
Facebook Home also has implications for HTC. The HTC First is the first and only smartphone designed around the new app. The phone costs $99 with a two-year AT&T contract.
The phone body is thin and seamless, with a 4.3-inch glass display. Inside, the smartphone runs Android 4.1 with the new Facebook Home experience. The device incorporates a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with dual-core CPU and 3G/4G world and multimode LTE. But if Facebook Home flops, it could mean poor sales for the HTC First.
"Facebook Home is in the early days and we'll see how many people download it and, of the downloaders, how many keep it turned on," Greengart said. "It's definitely an interesting move by Facebook not to build its own platform but to basically take over Google's platform. I have no doubt that Google, Microsoft, Apple and BlackBerry are all watching this very carefully to see just how powerful Facebook really is. Facebook claims it is one of the most used applications on mobile devices, and we'll see if that translates into something consumers want even more of."
Posted: 2013-04-24 @ 6:51am PT
This article is explaining how facebook is used worldwide on devices such as computers, phones and others. It translates into something consumers want even more of. Anyone can download Facebook home to any device, at the click of a button, which also keeps Facebook popular.
Posted: 2013-04-14 @ 10:25pm PT
Biggest pile of crap I have ever seen stayed on my phone for about 5 mins. Messed with my contacts took the whole phone over just garbage.
Posted: 2013-04-14 @ 9:30am PT
I installed it on my Samsung GS3 and uninstalled it 3 minutes later.