ADOTAS – Facebook announced its big move to mobile today with the introduction of its new Facebook Home “family of apps” for Android devices.
Home is designed to give status updates “through people, not apps,” right on your Android phone’s home screen.
“It’s all right there as soon as you look at your phone,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO.
In his opening remarks, Zuckerberg addressed why Facebook chose to integrate the new app family into existing smartphones, rather than develop a phone of its own.
“We want to deliver this experience to as many people as possible,” he said. “We don’t want to build some kind of phone or operating system that only some people are going to be able to use. A great phone can sell 10 or 20 million units at best, and our community has more than a billion people in it. So even if we did a really, really good job building a phone, we’d still only be serving one or two percent of the people in our community. We want to do more than that; we want to build the best experience for every person on every phone.”
Home has features unlike any other, displaying cover photos and status updates on your smartphone’s home screen, as well as “chat head” messaging.
Chat heads present “immediate personal connections to the people you are about,” explains Zuckerberg, showing how the chat head (a small, circular version of a Facebook friend’s profile picture) can be moved playfully around the screen.
The chat heads function works with both simple messaging and Facebook messaging and will allow users to use “very basic gestures” such as swipes to be able to control the chat heads, Facebook Director of Product Adam Mosseri explained.
Home will be available for Android users who have the latest version of the operating system installed. Users will have the option to try it once or use it always on their Android devices.
Home for Tablets is still in progress and will hopefully be released in June, said Cory Ondrejka, Director of Mobile Engineering for Facebook.
“Home is not just mobile first, but mobile best,” Ondrejka said.