This week Facebook revealed an ambitious scheme to hijack millions of mobile devices (potentially) through a home-replacement app that will transform innocent Android handsets into Facebook phones.
Considering that Facebook activity already accounts for a lot of what individuals do with their phones, it makes a certain sense. Facebook is hoping that addictive social behavior will appeal to consumers who will have to voluntarily download the software or buy it pre-loaded on a new phone.
With Facebook Home, your lock screen becomes a hub of updates that lets you stay abreast of social activity. Floating portraits and ubiquitous messaging will intrude—politely, one hopes—on other apps, and an attractive and simple launcher will intermingle popular Facebook and regular smartphone functionality.
By freeing its various services from the app ghetto and spreading them around the phone, Facebook is hoping to keep its messaging, photo, location and other features relevant and popular. We’ve gone from using Facebook because it’s cool to using Facebook because we have to, and the company doesn’t want to lose that.
Of course advertising is never far from Facebook’s thoughts. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is quoted by The Verge as saying, “There are no ads in this yet; I’m sure that one day there will be.”
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