Even though Facebook won’t be producing its own phones anytime soon, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a series of apps for the Android called Facebook Home that will make the social networking site front and center on home screens.
In his introduction of the new platform, Zuckerberg said: “Today, our phones are designed around apps and not people. We want to flip that around.”
Facebook Home, which will be made available on Google Play April 12, will make Facebook content available on the screen without going to a dedicated Facebook page. Users will get status updates and photos from their friends on the home screen by swiping sideways for each update. If they want to check their other apps, all they have to do is swipe up and an apps menu will appear.
In addition, Facebook Home will also feature Chatheads, which manages your conversations with your friends via Facebook and text messaging. Your friends and contacts appear as pop-ups on the top of the screen without distracting you from your other phone activities.
On the same day that Facebook Home will go live on Google Play, HTC will also release HTC First, the first smartphone with built-in Facebook Home. It will be exclusively available on AT&T for $99.99 with a two-year contract.
Facebook had teased their “new home on Android” since last week when it sent out invitations to its press conference, fueling speculations that an announcement of Facebook’s own phone would shortly follow. But Zuckerberg said in his announcement that a Facebook phone wouldn’t reach the entirety of the user base of the social networking site.
He said: “Even if we did good job building a phone, we’d only serve 1 percent of our community.”
This is Facebook’s second major press event at its Menlo Park headquarters in less than a month. In March, Facebook announced that it was revamping its news feed as well as its layout to make it easier for users to find news that’s relevant to them and to streamline the user experience.
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