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

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
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?

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 covers the event for you.

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



1. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

I don't want.

5. andynaija

Posts: 1259; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

I see your avatar it's intersting and funny

9. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Thank you! :)

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" :)

12. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

second :(

24. Timmehor

Posts: 599; Member since: Mar 09, 2013

Why don't you want a Facebook phone?

30. HASHTAG unregistered

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

42. LonghornTech

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

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

54. Timmehor

Posts: 599; Member since: Mar 09, 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.

51. opensourceftw

Posts: 148; Member since: Jan 01, 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.


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012


2. torr310

Posts: 1659; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

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

22. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 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.

3. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

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

4. Timmehor

Posts: 599; Member since: Mar 09, 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.

19. htc_evo_3d

Posts: 84; Member since: Mar 11, 2013

well said!

20. htc_evo_3d

Posts: 84; Member since: Mar 11, 2013

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

6. NicoX

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 14, 2013


7. TheBitterTruth unregistered

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

8. TheBitterTruth unregistered

Only if it is cheap.

10. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

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

11. LDC207X

Posts: 28; Member since: Mar 15, 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.

13. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 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"

14. CellieCell

Posts: 151; Member since: Apr 14, 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....

27. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

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

15. Nimit_Desai

Posts: 18; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

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

16. Android4u

Posts: 456; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

What's Facebook again?

37. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Duh i dont don't know

17. ras_dent

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 30, 2013

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

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'

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.