Feel at home with Facebook Home

Social Media Marketing

Why did Facebook come out with Facebook home?

Check this video to find out!

Apart from this, the other major win for Facebook Home is the prime real estate is will occupy on the home screen of its users. Depending on how well it gets received, it has the potential to become that one factor which no brand or social media agency can afford to ignore.

“We have a billion folks using our services now, and we want to get to 3 or 5 billion one day. We’re going to do that by building the best experience across all devices. Android is growing quickly, and we’re excited that the platform is open and that it allows us to build these great experiences. I think that this is really good for Google too. Something like this could encourage a lot of people to get Android phones, because I think people really care about Facebook. In a lot of ways, this is one of the best Facebook experiences that you can get.” – Mark Zuckerberg in an interview for Wired

So what exactly is Facebook Home?

Facebook Home is Facebook’s latest mobile feature. It is not a full-fledged operating system, but software that modifies the existing Android operating system interface including the home screen and the lock screen into a Facebook centric interface; with notifications, chats, and most-used apps finding a prominent spots on the home screen.

How can you get Facebook Home?

Facebook Home can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. It will be available from 12th April 2013 onwards. While downloading, you have the option of choosing to ‘try once’, or choose ‘always.’ Facebook Home is currently available only on HTC One, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note II and HTC First. HTC First is the only handset that will have Facebook Home already integrated in it.

What are the Facebook Home features and what do they look like?

  1. Notifications with your friends’ profile pictures on your home screen itself (Notifications)
  2.  An interface that lets you chat with your friends even while you are using other apps (Chat Heads)
  3. The home screen slides into an app screen where you can add your favourite and most-used apps for easy access (App Launcher)
  4. A constant stream of newsfeed updates on your smartphone’s home screen itself (Cover Feed)

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*Images courtesy Tech Crunch

What are the problems anticipated with Facebook Home?

Privacy: With Facebook Home, Facebook can keep track of your every move through GPS. It will also have access to data like how you use your phone, which apps you use the most, time spent on every app, places you visit, time spent at each locations, mobile ecommerce transactions you carry out, etc.; data that it might not have had access to earlier. Many people are highlighting their concerns about invasion of privacy. Inspite of the fact that Google is privy to this information if you use an Android phone, it is being demanded that Facebook comes out with an easily comprehensible declaration of its privacy policies, the information it will collect, and the way the information will be used.

Battery Drain: The reason Facebook Home will make it so easy and fast to use Facebook is because even when you are not actively using it, the software will constantly be running in the background, downloading information and updates; so that they can be displayed much quicker when you do use the software.

Competition: If Facebook Home is very successful, Google and other social networks won’t stay far behind. It is possible that the future will see Twitter centric, LinkedIn centric, Pinterest centric phones; that run on a software similar to Facebook Home. Imagine planning a digital marketing strategy for each one separately! If Facebook successfully monetizes the real estate it has acquired on the home screens of smartphone users, Google will want to counter it with a similar advertising platform of its own. This competition will heat up if Facebook decides to invade into Google’s territory by integrating graph search instead of Google search. The Android landscape will get even more fragmented than it is today.

Only for Android: Currently Facebook Home is available only for Android users. It is difficult to say when and how, if at all, it will be available to other operating systems like iOS which are closed and unlikely to modify into Facebook-centric ones.

How the future plays out is difficult to guess, but it will be interesting for sure! And if you want to stay updated, keep watching this space!

What are your first impressions of Facebook Home? Do you love Facebook enough to make it the core of your mobile usage? Considering an increasing focus on mobile marketing, will Facebook be a game-changer for digital marketing strategy?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Siddharth Hegde

Marketer, Maven, Mentor. 3 Ms that define Siddharth Hegde, a.k.a. Sidd, Managing Director of the effervescent and ebullient Digital Marketing Agency, Ethinos. He tucks in over 18 years of sales & marketing experience under his belt, gathered from Fortune 500 and other inspiring companies that he has worked with. Sidd is a technology zealot since almost two decades, keenly tracking the interplay between technology, design, and usability across products and services. He brings to the table an industry understanding & background in digital strategy formulation & implementation. In his free time, he enjoys sailing, scuba diving, white water rafting, trekking, and seeking out the outdoors.

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