“Today we’re going to finally talk about that Facebook Phone, More accurately, we’re gonna talk about how you can turn your phone into a Facebook Phone” Mark Zuckerberg said to start the Facebook announcement last week.
The Facebook mobile is here. But not quite how you imagined it. Although we heard rumours about Facebook releasing their own mobile phone, we all knew that Facebook just wouldn’t be able to compete in the highly competitive mobile market. So they’ve decided to opt for the next best thing.
Last Thursday Facebook announced their takeover of your Android phone. They’ve literally hacked your mobile to centralize everything around Facebook. If you haven’t guessed already Facebook Home essentially takes over your home screen. With an immersive Facebook experience featuring full-screen photos, status updates, and notifications.
So What Actually is Facebook Home?
Facebook Home will be available to those who have the most recent Facebook and Messenger app on their phone. When you launch it the first time, you can decide to “try once”, or choose “always” to swap in Home for you homescreen from then on.
When a friend messages you, Home brings up the Facebook Chat Heads feature. I’m not sure about the name but it sounds like a more attractive notification system! It pops up a person’s face and you can tap on their face and bring up a conversation without losing any context of what you’re doing in the app behind.
Chat Heads means you don’t have to decide whether to read a message or keep using your current app. It lets communication flow across the phone experience.
Facebook Home is designed to let you tap in between multiple message threads.
If someone comments or likes any of your posts there will be no need to go into the app to check your notifications. It’s right on the surface for you to see.
It will be launched in the US on April 12th with rollout to the rest of the world shortly after.
Below are a couple of promo shot of what your Home Screen will look like. You can also see the Chat Heads in the little circles.
What About my Privacy?
Naturally there has been some concerns over privacy. Observers theorised that if the service could track your location via GPS, Facebook would be able to serve up geo-targeted advertising.
This concern has been put to bed. Facebook will not actively track your GPS location.
I like Facebook. I use it daily for personal and business purposes. But I never check Facebook every hour. Constant interruptions from notifications and mindless scrolling down the news feed is not something that benefits my productivity. I believe it’s all to easy to get sucked into Facebook. I’ve had moments when I’ve taken a couple of minutes to check the news feed and 20 minutes later after clicking a couple of links and reading some comments my focus has been completely destroyed.
I don’t think anyone should be checking their Facebook all day long. It just kills productivity.
You also need to consider the growing condition of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). Although this may sound like fear mongering mumbo jumbo. It is a real condition for many people. Facebook addiction is ranked as one of the most top ranked digital addictions. Facebook Home is only going to suck more people in and strengthen their fear.
Of course moderate usage to share and connect with others is really what Facebook is all about. I can do everything I need on the mobile or desktop app. I use an iPhone so I cannot see Facebook taking over my iPhone anytime soon!
What are your thoughts? Are you going to convert to Facebook Home?