Facebook Home, a brand new and controversial feature from the social networking behemoth, is having a rocky start. At a news conference last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the new capability that puts users’ News Feed right on the Lock screen of select HTC and Samsung smartphones. He then lambasted Apple’s walled-garden approach and praised Google’s Android for being open “so we don’t have to work with them.” But alas, Android users evidently aren’t liking their new Home much.
Reviews on Google’s Play Store give it an average score of 2.3 out of five stars, with the most common rating by far being just one star out of five. Perhaps sensing Android people may not be ready to embrace Home as Facebook’s co-founder thought they would, Facebook is now toning down rhetoric and is apparently in talks with both Apple and Microsoft over bringing the Home overlay to iOS and Windows Phone…
UPDATE: a Facebook source familiar with the discussions told The Next Web that Facebook is not in talks with either Apple or Microsoft over bringing Home to those platforms (and John Paczkowski of AllThingsD agrees).
— John Paczkowski (@JohnPaczkowski) April 16, 2013
Here’s Bloomberg‘s original story:
Facebook Inc. is talking to Apple Inc. about crafting a version of its new mobile software for the iPhone, in a push to boost revenue from the growing number of users who access the social network on smaller screens.
Facebook’s director of product Adam Mosseri told the news organization that talks are ongoing, but cautioned nothing has been finalized.
Now that the majority of users access Facebook via mobile devices, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is looking for ways to keep them engaged longer and coaxing more advertisers to pay to place promotions.
“We’ve shown them what we’ve built and we’re just in an ongoing conversation,” Mosseri said, referring to discussions with Apple and Microsoft.
And I bet Zuck also found that Apple’s 21 percent of smartphone users are far more active and sticky than Google’s Android users that comprised about an IDC-estimated 70 percent of the smartphone market last year.
Chat Heads, in Facebook Messenger for Android
Zuckerberg remarked at the Home launch “we have an active dialogue to do more with them,” referring to Apple, where Facebook is deeply integrated into the Mac and iOS operating system.
Here’s a nice concept which takes a look at what Facebook Home could look like on iOS.
Facebook Home in its current Android form isn’t happening on iOS, for a number of reasons.
For starters, Apple owns the user.
Why exactly would Apple relinquish that control to Facebook?
Apple has its own ad platform to monetize users called iAd. It has no reason whatsoever to give Facebook an opportunity to snatch its ad dollars and monetize those highly lucrative eyeballs.
Apple is also unlikely to give an outside party direct access to the user’s Lock screen, which to this date remains a major source of vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit to bypass your passcode and break into your device.
Besides, many people see Home as an overly intrusive UI overlay which robs them of direct access to their home screen as Facebook aims to become your new, well, Home.
If Apple allowed that on iOS, there would be a nasty backlash from users.
Mosseri acknowledges as much, noting an iOS version could look much different than the Android version.
It may or may not be Home. We could also just bring some of the design values to the iOS app. That might be how it ends up. Or we could build just the lock screen. Maybe then it’s not called Home, it’s called something else.
In my view, Facebook should have simply added a new full screen story view to its iOS/Android apps and stop screwing with people’s home screens.
Sooner than later the company will realize its mistake, I’m sure.
By the way, if you thought the top commercial was terrible, wait when you see the following ad.
I mean, with ads like this, who needs enemies, right?