Consumer Watch: A Facebook Smartphone


by Andy Treinen

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 8 at 5:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- It's been the stuff of Silicon Valley rumors for years. Now, a Facebook Smartphone is a reality -- well, sort of - it's not exactly the blue and white hardware some envisioned.

“Today we're finally going to talk about that Facebook phone, or more accurately we're going to talk about how you can turn your Android phone into a great, simple social device,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg SAID at a recent conference.

The next product in Facebook's mobile portfolio is new software for Google's Android operating system. They call it "Home," and it puts all things Facebook right in your face.

Among the highlights:

•    A cover feed, essentially the site's news feed, scrolling on the phone's home screen.

•    Chat heads messaging, allowing users to continue conversations with friends without leaving the other apps they're already in.

It continues the push for users to make as many interactions as possible, with the social network.

“This has been a long-term goal of Facebook's, to really keep you within there and sort of frictionlessly share everything you do with a larger group,” Zuckerberg said.

Some mobile users seemed mixed on the idea of more Facebook.

“I think it's really interesting because all of our social networking is pretty much going to our phones anyway so it's a really smart move,” one consumer said.

 “I'm an iPhone user and it's really easy to use Facebook anyway,” another mobile user said.

The software will be available for download on certain HTC and Samsung devices on April 12. AT&T subscribers also can pre-order the HTC "first," a phone optimized for the Facebook "home" experience.

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