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Are we ready for a Facebook powered smartphone? Do we even want one?

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Are we ready for a Facebook powered smartphone?  Do we even want one?
So now that everyone is talking about this semi-cryptic invitation Facebook sent out regarding a “new home for Android,” the question must be asked, are we ready for a Facebook powered smartphone? Do we even really want a Facebook powered smartphone?

The first question is fairly easy to answer, yes. Yes, “we” will certainly be able to handle whatever is unveiled next week. Yes, the market will certainly bear the burden of a new product or service and it will either succeed or fail.

The second question is not so easy to answer with a resounding “yes.” This is not a slight against Facebook or the way it handles its business. However, there is a hurdle that Facebook faces which other near-ubiquitous services are better positioned to handle and have handled with aplomb, like Google. Facebook and Google are alike in that hundreds of millions of people use their products. Each also have a dedicated core of users that love everything about their respective services. However, we can say the similarities end there.

Facebook needs the world to work within the framework of what makes Facebook work as a social network. Certainly the social network is successful, easily half of the access to Facebook is done from mobile devices, so it makes sense that Facebook would invest heavily in developing the network for the mobile platform. However, Facebook is facing a fatigue factor, there is only so much “share this” or “like” that which resonates with a user. After a while, all you may end up seeing is a collage of pictures of what people ate for breakfast intertwined with comments about puppies and children (yes, we are deliberately being overly simplistic).

Google on the other hand, does not operate in such confines, and the breadth of its services is far wider. On top of that, it is easier, and far more functional to integrate daily lives around what Google has designed as a whole. Google allows the world to come to it, rather than being centered as a news-feed of delivering the world to its users.

Can Facebook offer something similar? A complete user experience which can provide a mobile platform covering all the bases, from calendars to messaging, contacts to voice calling, documents in the cloud to email? No doubt Facebook would love it if people used all of its services the way users of Google (and to some extent Microsoft) do. Will the world bend to Facebook’s will?

Are we ready for a Facebook powered smartphone?  Do we even want one?
We will not forecast on something we know so little about, but we will say this: the context of how we use our smartphones is the standard and it explains why Android and iOS platforms are the current benchmarks. As users, we are accustomed to diving deep into a single application to accomplish something. That it is not the most efficient way to do things is irrelevant, it is the reality of “what is” and that is one of the user experience challenges that Windows Phone has been hammering away at with its own deep Facebook integration.

Because of that, an arguably small segment smartphone users are actually “all-in” with their respective platforms. Android, iOS and Windows Phone all have different strengths when it comes to this, but in the end, the majority of people do not put all their eggs in one basket. However, if they were, is Facebook the right basket?

It is obvious why Facebook is pointing both barrels at mobile, and it does not take a brain surgeon to see why HTC is a willing partner. What is not as obvious is why people that already use Facebook on their smartphone, tablet and computer would feel compelled to make a leap into a Facebook-first environment on different hardware.

That will be the key to next Thursday’s announcement, Facebook will unveil its “new home on Android,” but must also show how it needs to become your home and make it the hub of all your mobile activities. That is what we will be looking for and that is what we will be sharing with you as well when PhoneArena.com covers the event for you.

What do you think the experience will be? What do you want it to be?

57 Comments
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posted on 30 Mar 2013, 01:27 57

1. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I don't want.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 01:44 19

5. andynaija (Posts: 924; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


I see your avatar it's intersting and funny

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 01:54 11

9. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Thank you! :)

posted on 01 Apr 2013, 18:42

59. jcarrigan (unregistered)


id rather own an iPhone than buy a facebook phone. My life doesnt revolve around people liking my statuese and pictures on facebook. And besides as the old joke goes "the more friends you have on facebook, the less you have in real life" :)

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 02:38 2

12. hipnotika (Posts: 353; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)


second :(

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 04:23 1

24. Timmehor (Posts: 599; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)


Why don't you want a Facebook phone?

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 08:20 13

30. HASHTAG (unregistered)


Why would you want a Facebook phone? They'll be tracking you more than Apple.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 10:25 7

42. LonghornTech (Posts: 50; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Why would you? It sounds so limiting, Facebook isn't that big of a deal.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 18:25 1

54. Timmehor (Posts: 599; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)


I was just generally asking PhoneArenaUser to EXPLAIN why he doesn't want one, if you had read my comment below then you wouldn't need to bark back at me. Man, 20 dislikes, people aren't the fastest at thinking on PA sometimes.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 13:31 7

51. opensourceftw (banned) (Posts: 148; Member since: 01 Jan 2013)


Are you f*cking serious? You DO realize you can get facebook on any smartphone right now, correct? A "facebook phone" would add absolutely nothing to the experience.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 11:22

44. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


It,,,!

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 01:32 25

2. torr310 (Posts: 930; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Facebook is only one function on the phone... We do other things on the phone irrelevant to Facebook. Why need a Facebook phone?

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 03:49 5

22. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4025; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


That's what i'm thinking. I use Facebook, like everyday...i check and comment on my friend's photos and statuses. But while i can access Facebook from my phone through the internet, i don't really think i need a Facebook phone.
I just want to know what features it comes with that makes it stand out from the rest.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 01:35 21

3. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 495; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


You can use facebook in every mobile. No use i believe.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 01:38 20

4. Timmehor (Posts: 599; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)


If Facebook actually made really good FB apps for iOS, Android, Windows, BB10, but they cant. So how could we trust a Facebook "powered" phone.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 03:25 6

19. htc_evo_3d (Posts: 84; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


well said!

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 03:26 1

20. htc_evo_3d (Posts: 84; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


did the facebook icon change from rounded square to circle in the invitation card ?1!!!!!???

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 01:45 3

6. NicoX (Posts: 13; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


useless?

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 01:46 12

7. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)


Get a HTC one and use blink feed! Its more simple.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 01:47

8. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)


Only if it is cheap.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 02:34 4

10. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


useless and wouldn't speak "class". even a Chinese phone would be better than carrying a "F" phone

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 02:35

11. LDC207X (Posts: 27; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)


id rather have like a itouch like facebook device. seems more pratical to me. just have EVERYTHING intergrated with facebook...and some new cool things too.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 02:46

13. alterecho (Posts: 1098; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


Facebook - no,
phone - yes.

"new home for Android"
if this really is a phone based on Android, its more like "new home for Facebook"

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 03:05 3

14. CellieCell (Posts: 125; Member since: 14 Apr 2010)


the day a facebook phone comes out is the day I cancel my account for good! first they gotta stop all the crap with the spam and advertisement....

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 07:26 1

27. therealestmc (Posts: 369; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


Ads is how it makes money. Are you saying you want to use it for free?

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 03:11 2

15. Nimit_Desai (Posts: 18; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


What's next ? Twitter powered phone...then flipboard. ..then pintrest....and so on.....

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 03:15 7

16. Android4u (Posts: 456; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


What's Facebook again?

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 09:26 1

37. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


Duh i dont don't know

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 03:16 4

17. ras_dent (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Mar 2013)


We need infact a phone with whatsapp as a default messeging service......

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 11:00

43. Igneel (unregistered)


And it should be able to integrate normal text messages into it. Damn, I need a simple unified messenger for all my 'messengers'

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