As the modern world increases its reliance on the digital medium and small start-ups to media conglomerates clamber to produce the newest and most original applications, Facebook steps into the fray of mobile communication, a place where Apple’s and Google’s operating platforms battle it out to gain the biggest share of this extremely lucrative market.
Whilst Apple, Google and Amazon have been in a tug of war to gain controlling shares of the tablet market, Facebook has somewhat taken a back seat in all this technological toing and froing, but it seems they are ready to stake their place with the development of a new mobile phone app. While companies such as HTC and Windows have created their own portfolio of phones and managed to squeeze their way into this saturated market, Facebook may have something in their arsenal- the element of surprise.
The recent conference which was held by Mark Zuckerburg is only to instigate the digital aficionado’s desire to get their hands on a new and completely different piece of equipment. They will be disheartened by the news that it is not actually a ‘Facebook phone’. There is no new operating system, no new brand which it is aligned with (just the existing HTC), it’s just an app called ‘Facebook Home’ which allows you to have more interaction with Facebook without having to leave other apps. Zuckerberg will try to keep his app’s best features under wraps, but one can only wonder if the app will be truly revolutionary, or whether it will fall short of expectations much like their entrance into the stock market.
While Zuckerberg indulged in using phrases and words such as ‘soul’ and ‘much deeper’, will the app actually scratch the surface? It will all depend on what it actually brings to the table, but sceptics of Facebook will avert a purchase in fear of Facebook being able to monitor and monetise their user experience even more. The ‘HTC First,’ will be the first and only phone to have the Facebook Home app pre-installed on it and it will use the Android operating system. It resembles an iPhone, but its extremely competitive price point of $99 will give them a distinct advantage over Apple who as we know always charges a premium for its own product lines. The younger generation is one market where this new app could potentially take off. With more and more young people getting access to mobile devices and developing their own social media portfolios, the value of this cheap Android may appeal to this market and it only takes one ‘trend’ to make a brand successful.
Time will only tell if the ‘Facebook Home’ app takes all the plaudits and becomes an ever-present feature on all mobile phones, but if there is a purchase surge amongst the consumers, you can be rest assured that mobile brands such as Samsung and Apple will be determined to get it integrated into their new models as quickly as possible.
The one question that remains, exactly what doors will 'Facebook Home' open to advertisers and how will these ads be perceived by users?