Facebook Promotes INQ Cloud Touch With Mobile Showcase and Home Page Ads

Facebook is promoting the INQ Cloud Touch mobile handset with Sponsored Story home page ads leading to a new Showcase tab on the Facebook Mobile Page. Commonly referred to as “The Facebook Phone”, the INQ Cloud Touch recently became available for purchase in the UK. The Wildfire-powered Showcase tab highlights the device’s deep Facebook integration , such as how a user’s news feed and a button for Chat appear on the home screen.

The INQ Cloud Touch is part of Facebook’s efforts to tackle the middle-tier of the mobile market, between below high-end smart phones and above devices without data plans. It’s aimed at thrifty Facebook power users who want constant access to their Facebook content. As such, the commercial for the Android-powered handset on the Showcase tab features young, hip twenty-somethings planning meetups with friends and posting photos from a party.

Along with quick access to the news feed and Chat, users can access Places check-ins, notifications, and Events from a bar atop the phone’s home screen. At first, Facebook was hesitant to confirm or deny existence of a “Facebook Phone”, but now that it’s publicly available it seems ready to draw attention to it.

The Facebook Mobile Page posted an update linking to the Showcase tab yesterday, and Facebook is now promoting that update to those who Like the Page via its Sponsored Stories ads. The tab was designed by contest application developer Wildfire.

Facebook will be closely watching sales and feedback on the INQ Cloud Touch. If it proves popular, Facebook could step up development of deeply integrated handsets for additional markets. Microsoft’s try at a social phone, the Kin, was scrapped less than two months after launch, so Facebook might be correct in assuming its first attempt could use a little marketing assistance.