Facebook Home: Where Your Heart Is?

April 22, 2013

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                              return to JayVee Media Link LLC

Facebook’s Home app suite began its official rollout last week, finally putting to rest the escalating rumors that an actual Facebook phone was being introduced. Home is currently available for certain Android phones; the app for tablets will be rolled out soon.  Talks are underway to deliver it to iOS users as well.  So what’s it all about?

Facebook Home app suite screen shotFacebook software developers created a system that essentially turns an Android user’s cell phone into a Facebook phone. The Home app suite overlays Google’s open source operating system (OS), thereby creating a Facebook-centric user experience for the phone’s owner. Facebook friends’ pictures and activity notifications take the place of the Android device’s default home screen. A movable feature called Chat Heads enables messaging with one or more friends to proceed easily from the home screen even while other activities are undertaken. And of course, Home allows a pass through to access the phone’s other apps and features. So in essence, the Facebook gurus created a Facebook phone without creating the actual physical object.  And they promise monthly updates to the app suite to fine tune its operation. Happily, if a user is dissatisfied with the Facebook Home experience he/she can disable it or even delete it altogether.

To get a better understanding of how Facebook Home operates, you may wish to view this video demonstration, shared courtesy of Matt Kapko of ClickZ. 

Facebook Home Chat Heads screen shotWhere is the appeal in the Facebook Home app suite?  Business benefits and possible adaptations for pages are yet to be seen.  The developers are currently focusing on interactions on the personal front.  On a personal level, initial reviews – and common sense – suggest that it is best received by Facebook “addicts.”  It is a dream come true for those who spend the bulk of their time online interacting on the platform.  A majority of the rest of the online population, however, aren’t too thrilled with Home. Many don’t like giving Facebook – or any other individual platform, for that matter – what appears to be total control over their phones.   A number of reviewers have also expressed concerns about possible privacy issues. Facebook does claim there will be no additional mining of private information via their Home app suite. But considering all the new permission requests it makes one has to truly wonder.

How do YOU feel about the Facebook Home app?  Will you use it if it is available for your phone?  Are there features that especially appeal to you?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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4 thoughts on “Facebook Home: Where Your Heart Is?

    • Thanks, Dante! I read your post; it looks as though we agree about Facebook Home. I also think it’s a bold concept and a nice design. But I won’t permit ANY one social media platform to essentially take over my smart phone’s operating system. I realize it’s just an overlay. But the end result is the same if we need to go through the Facebook app suite in order to access any of our phone’s other features. Plus, I have lots of talkative friends on Facebook. I use my phone primarily for business, so I don’t wish to risk the distraction of being inundated by chat heads! Have you tried Facebook Home yourself? If not, do you plan to?

    • Understood. You’re better than I! lol I admired from afar, having no desire to download the app suite myself. The thought of having to go through Facebook to access my other phone apps and features did not appeal to me. I don’t even want to update the regular Facebook app because they are adding chat heads to that one too. I know I would be overwhelmed by them, so I have no interest in even trying the feature. My business keeps me regularly checking the platform anyway. I don’t feel I may miss out by not having chat heads.

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