Why Facebook Home?
Now that we all know what Facebook Home really means, and what the so-called Facebook Phone really looks like, what is the motivation behind this OS takeover?
From FB’s point of view this step makes sense, of all the time people spend on their smartphones about 23% is dedicated to using Facebook. With Instagram and Google Maps far behind in second and third place with only 3% that’s a very big deal.
Being constricted by the app interface, which is still very close to what the desktop experience is, doesn’t make sense for them anymore. FB has evolved to an ecosystem on itself, but rather than being constricted to one phone or one type of operating system, FB has positioned itself as a platform that is available anywhere at any time.
Why do you want it?
The level of integration FB Home offers could go even further than iMessages. Even though iMessages syncs among all devices and delivers an excellent end-user experience, it’s still *just* available for iOS users. FB Home takes it one step further and now Facebook offers a platform that’s universally available, whether you’re on iPhone, Android, iPad, laptop, desktop… anywhere.
Add to that the VOIP option, which has been shown to work very well, and you have a concept that could displace even the behemoth cell phone carriers. No international rates, no phone numbers, just contacts based on your Facebook profile.
FB Home and search
What does this mean to Google, and in larger extent search in general? It doesn’t seem like FB is trying to displace Google just yet, since there is no direct search integration and Google still delivers the built-in search solution for these phones.
Interesting is that it takes the Google search bar two steps farther away from being directly accessible. Instead of just sitting there on the home screen, now you need to tap your picture, open up your application drawer and then tap on the search box. These 3 steps are a far cry from the one step Google search on current Android phones.
Does this exclude the possibility of Graph Search being secretly engineered to take over search? I don’t believe so, Zuckerberg might have long term plans to grab a slice of the pie from Google, but so far he has been nothing but supportive of the entire Google experience.
Does this have any impact on FB Ads? Once Facebook finds a better way of integrating this into mobile then yes. Right now the options are still rather limited, but I’m pretty sure that Facebook is working on this ferociously. They are calling FB a mobile-first platform now, so we can count on new ways to integrate monetization into the mobile experience.
As soon as this happens, it opens up a lot of potential… especially if they find a way to, unobtrusively, integrate advertising into the actual FB Home interface. Keep an eye out for new developments from Palo Alto.