Facebook Phone Event, What Do You Think?

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Facebook is kind enough to be streaming their media event today. That means we can follow along with the news as it is shared from the comfort of our own homes. You can check it out here or simply refresh your browser as we’ll be updating this post as the news is shared.

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“We’re going to talk about the Facebook phone or more accurately how you can turn your Android phone into a Facebook phone.”

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“We spend our lives sharing and connecting.”

Instead of starting with apps and then connecting what happens it we flip that around and our phones were designed around people and then apps.

We have our phones with us all the time and we want to know what is happening with the people in our lives. “Why do we need to go into all those apps to see about the people we care about?” We want to bring all the content to the front.

We want to build the best experience for every person on every phone.”We don’t want to build a phone that only a small subset will use. “So we’re not building a phone and we’re not building an operating system. ”

“Today we are going to focus on Anrdoid. The great thing about Android is that it is so open.”

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Calling it “Home”. Series of apps.

“With “Home” you see your world through people not apps.”

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Chatheads let chat step into whatever activity you are doing.

There’s much more to discuss, including the introduction of the HTC First and its inclusion of Facebook Home from the start but the big news here is Facebook looking to take over your device and become your mobile portal from the second you turn on your phone.

It is coming April 12 to select devices.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

24 Comments on "Facebook Phone Event, What Do You Think?"

  1. Admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of FaceBook but I’m even more underwhelmed by this than I expected. Why would I want to give over my phone to Facebook? If I have learned one thing from Google’s latest moves it is the fact that I don’t want to give my device OR my content over to any single service or company. To put Facebook as central to my device, to make it my mobile portal… not happening.

  2. MEH! It’s JUST an APP/Launcher. IE crap I don’t want. I am sure SOMEONE might but not me and not a lot of my friends…geeks and non-geeks.

  3. But there are lots and lots of people who would love to do this. And facebook doesn’t need everyone to do it…just a small fraction of those billions served.

    This is Google’s worst nightmare too-Android being wholly superseded by a competitor, right on Google’s own OS. —
    Sent from my thumbs.

  4. Thing is, as has been mentioned – 20% of online time for mobile phones is Facebook, 25% if you add in Instagram. So the thought of putting that stuff first and other stuff behind it isn’t far fetched. I could see my wife doing it, since her routine is Facebook, messages, email … in that order.

  5. OK, Joel, here is one for you – we know millions of people will use it. And we know that Google has been doing some shady stuff lately. My question is this – do you think Google will respond positively by trying to compete, like they did with the Nexus 7, or by being anti-competitive like they have with Google+, WebKit, etc?

  6. That’s exactly how I feel, and although I love how Facebook has become a way to keep in touch with family and friends worldwide, it is not the primary reason I use my mobile device. So my feeling on the whole thing is a cross between Meh and knowing that I’ll have to check it out just to see what all the fuss is about. 😉

  7. I know many people will grab this and love it but, to me, it is trying to solve a problem I don’t have.

    One other thought- this will put even more pressure on Apple since this type of “takeover” isn’t possible on iOS. If this does take off it will hurt Apple.

  8. Google can’t. Android is released under a combination of the Apache Open Source License and the GPL. These licenses will likely require ALL contributors to the Android Open Source Project to authorize a license change that Google would need to lock it down to the point that would prevent apps like this. Google doesn’t care anyway. Why? Because if they did they would not have released the source code at all. Google will STILL get AdSense data since this would still be able to use any Google service. If Google had cared, then they’d have killed alternative launchers YEARS ago. There is even a launcher for Android that brings the Windows Phone interface to it.

    Also, what this really is is just another layer of crap on top of Google’s layer in the same sense that HTC Sense, MotoBlur and Touchwiz but with a Facebook skin instead of the vanilla launcher, Sense, MotoBlur or Touchwiz. Plus they are releasing a Home app on the app store as well. This is NOT a Facebook phone but more like the MotoRokr was when it had iTunes compatibility. HTC is the launch partner and others can use it as well and it looks like you will even be able to install it on any android phone as well although I don’t know why you’d want to!

    Facebook Home is JUST a launcher or skin on top of Android. It’s NOT anything but that. It’s LAME. It would have been better if they had their own OS but they won’t. Someone might want it but I sure as heck don’t.

  9. Definite MEH. It’s a launcher app. That’s it. Plain and simple.

  10. This is just another HTC Sense, MotoBlur, TouchWiz. It’s NOT what I would call a “Facebook” phone and not competing with them It’s working together with them. As long as it has the Google Play store Google doesn’t care. Unless Facebook launches their own store….

  11. That is true in theory, but Google *has* been pretty aggressive with anything that messes with their ad revenue (since they are an advertising-funded company, ads and selling personal data is their #1 priority). They have broken open source, delayed code delivery, down-ranked searches, and so on. They are not beyond plying their monopoly to fight back if threatened.

  12. But think about it – you have Facebook home. Search will be integrated – Facebook search, not Google. Facebook Messaging rather than GMail/SMS- no more data harvesting for Google. Instagram with auto-upload means Google can’t peek at your pictures (well, I assume they already do regardless of settings, but still). My point – this is FAR more than just a launcher. It is a full-frontal assault … and I love it. Two of the least trustworthy companies going at it …

  13. Oh, and I don’t disagree with you on the ‘MEH’ assessment … but I am not the target audience, not are you (or Dan or Judie or Carly, etc)

  14. Two of the least trustworthy companies going at it …


  15. Not in theory. Period. Since they are using the Play Store and other pieces parts of Google, well there’s no real incentive for Google to lock it down. They will get revenue from that. Google benefits if you use ANY of their services….search, Gmail, Play Store and the web in general. They don’t care about this at all. Why should they? You buy a game on the app store on your phone with the Facebook skin then they STILL make money…..both in knowing that you bought an app, what app you bought and the revenue for the app itself.

    I don’t see any incentive for Google to lock Android down. If they did that, then they loose the VERY thing keeping them at the forefront: Their Community. If they did that, I and MANY others would go to Tizen, Bada or Blackberry. Well…if there’s a choice! I’d like to see Tizen and Bada phones released here in the states before I can comfortably say I would switch.

  16. And yet you’d be able to work around it easily. Since they have Play Store, then they’d be able to install Google Plus AND Google Search.

    If this is a full frontal assault…it’s a pretty weak one.

  17. You know….I don’t know anyone who’d want this except maybe ONE person who I know is a rabid Facebook fan and the only reason they’d want it is because it’s CHEAPER than some Android phones….

    Plus I think it adds confusion. People will start calling this the “Facebook Phone” even though they aren’t doing anything to hide that it’s Android.

  18. Think about it from the ‘normal user’ – they use Facebook >50% of the time on the phone. They will install Home and basically never leave.

  19. I know we disagree about Google and ‘open source’. I think that they have released about 50% of what is on an Android phone … and have actively worked to have their other apps do things they could never release via open source. They know the future is mobile, and that people on mobile use Google stuff less than on the desktop … so they need to do something. They are a revenue-driven company, after all.

  20. That’s what I see happening too. It simplifies people’s lives if they spend most of their time on Facebook.

    And while most people don’t know what a home skin is, they don’t need to here-all Facebook needs to do is pop up with an invitation for them to download and try Facebook home the first time they launch the Facebook app. And if it is a smooth, clean experience, people will be happy.

  21. But ask yourself this – of the people you know, how many spend more than 25% of their mobile time on Facebook? If the answer is anything less than 50% of the people you know, you have a skewed sample.

  22. Not only does the whole thing strike me personally as “Meh”, but I think its timing – at a point when we are starting to see the effects of social media fatigue is crazy. I have to wonder if this will be the moment in time where we say “this is what finally killed the social media trend” much as Ethel Merman recording a disco song is pointed to as the event that signaled the beginning of the end of the disco era. If so, it can’t come soon enough for me.

  23. You do realize you sound like one of those curmudgeons who were predicting the end of email, texting and the internet in general, right? 🙂

    Social media will *never* die – just like Disco never really died … these things adapt and change with the times. AOL to MySpace to Facebook to … who knows?

  24. Lol. Yeah I know it sounds like that and true, these things never go,completely away, but there are differences and reasons,your email analogy,doesn’t quite fit. first of all, fatigue has been,well documented. Second, the current generation of teens is starting to migrate to services that are less open to parental monitoring. That means that this is unlikely to gain traction with those groups. That said, I don’t see this influencing folks who tend to lead social or tech trends , so,where does that leave them? Possibly a last gasp before the slide. Maybe.. 🙂

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