Calm down, everyone: Facebook will not provide you with a shiny blue smartphone. What it will do is take over the phone you’d planned to buy next month. Today’s Zuckerberg press conference served as the launch of the new “Facebook Home”, a sort of app cluster that will dominate a specially designed HTC Android phone. Facebook doesn’t want to create your mobile phone — it wants to become your mobile phone. Zuck called Home “the best version of Facebook there is”, and the company debuted this promo spot:
Looks…cool. But what does it mean?
To summarize, it’s another step in the right direction for the social network, which realized that mobile was its weakest link some time ago and acted aggressively to remedy that problem.
It’s particularly interesting in light of data suggesting that the risks of “Facebook fatigue” have been significantly overstated and that Zuckerberg’s baby could grow even more powerful in the mobile world (that’s where most PR/marketing/advertising campaigns are heading, but you already knew that). People may be spending less time accessing Facebook on their computers, but the time they spend on mobile is way up and rising. This opens the very real possibility of more highly targeted ads, which should make some brands very happy.
Looks like the naysayers who claimed that Facebook was quickly losing its value to investors, young people and PR/marketing teams may have jumped the gun. And clients who wondered whether Facebook promos were worth the time and money can probably rest a little easier now.
What new powers will “Home” bring to communications pros? That’s a topic for a later date.
(Oh, and it looks like iPhone users are out of luck! We see a fight coming…)