April 8, 2013
Facebook’s newly unveiled Home is the social networking giant’s attempt at making the transition to mobile. Home is not the long-rumored Facebook Phone, but a suite of apps that turns any phone into a Facebook device. Even with the lock screen on, users can see photo streams and friends’ activities, as Home puts people front and center. Updates also appear on the home screen. Home places an emphasis on Facebook as a primary communication tool.
What’s very important for Facebook regarding Home is that it “makes Facebook the primary means of communication on your device,” writes Wired. “The company’s messaging software merges with SMS, and you can continue using its ‘chat heads’ to text while inside another app.”
“Facebook occupies an interesting space in mobile, Zuckerberg said in an interview with Wired. “We’re not an operating system, but we’re not just an app either. Facebook accounts for 23 percent of the time people spend on smartphones. The next-biggest ones are Instagram and Google Maps, which are each at 3 percent. For the past 18 months, we spent our efforts building good versions of Facebook’s mobile apps. But the design was still very close to what we have on the desktop. We knew that we could do better.”
He said that instead of justing building a “Facebook Phone” like some had anticipated, which would only essentially reach a small percentage of its billion+ users, it instead desires to turn phones into Facebook-run phones, no matter which the user chooses.
As far as current trends in mobile, he notes: “the big stuff that we’re seeing now is sharing with smaller groups,” which he hopes to implement that within the larger social networking frame. “There’s a place for both. There’s a place for a service that only communicates with your core friends and family, and I think that’s going to be ubiquitous,” he added.
For now, Facebook will be “focused on making News Feed really good, making our photos experience really good, making messaging really good, and creating great location apps. That’s the nature of a platform business of our scale. Most companies that are relevant to us will have some overlaps in some competitive way. But we choose not to be very paranoid and instead try to look for the ways that we can work with them,” said Zuckerberg.