Facebook’s 1Q Earnings Call: Nobody Home?

By David Cohen 

Even though Android overlay Facebook Home was introduced April 4, after the first quarter had already ended, those expecting Home to be a big part of Facebook’s first-quarter earnings call Wednesday were sorely disappointed.

Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about Home in his opening remarks, but that was the last time Home was mentioned during the one-hour call, with none of the analysts who asked questions at the end of the call bringing it up.

While Home obviously did not impact the social network’s first-quarter results, future plans were touched upon by both executives and analysts on the call — including many questions about advertising, which will likely be added to Home in the not-too-distant future — yet not a query was raised about when Home would be offered on more Android devices or other operating systems, the poor reviews it received on the Google Play store, or the slow start in sales of the HTC First, the only device to come with Home preloaded.

According to CNET, Sterne Agee said in a note on Facebook Monday:

A local AT&T store we checked with told us it had not sold a single HTC First phone … as of last week.

This is what Zuckerberg had to say about Home during his opening remarks:

One of the products I am most excited about is Facebook Home. It’s a family of applications that you can install in your Android phone to make the whole experience of your phone much more personal and about people and not apps.

We know that people spend an average of 20 percent or more of their time in apps on Facebook, staying up-to-date with what the people they care about are doing. We open the Facebook app maybe 10 to 15 times per day. But we probably check our phones more than 100 times per day. So with Home, you can see fresh news and content from people and topics you care about every time you turn on your screen. It really brings your phone to life and provides with a completely new experience.

This product is still very early, and this is just a first release in a long journey. We are planning on iterating quickly and tuning things based on feedback. We haven’t really started encouraging people to install it from within app yet, and it’s only available on a few phones. But over the next few months, we hope to push this out much more broadly and get this in the hands of a lot more people. We are excited about Home because we think it’s a great product.

But Home is also an important milestone for our company. This is a completely new kind of mobile experience based on people, not apps. And we think this is how phones and computers should work. I am looking forward to sharing more with you on the experiences that are brought on mobile that we are building over the rest of this year.

Readers: Are you surprised that Home wasn’t a bigger part of Wednesday’s earnings call?