Facebook have invited the world’s media to an event tonight (GMT) at their San Francisco HQ to witness the unveiling of the company’s “new home on Android”, which is widely expected to come in the form of an HTC smartphone named Myst.
This new “Facebook Phone” is expected to sport a homescreen which is entirely Facebook-centric; in fact some rumours even suggest that the homescreen will just be your Facebook profile page. Hm, not sure this will appeal to all. But others describe an ‘uberfeed’ technology which will gather information which is relevant to the owner; not just from Facebook but from emails, texts and news sources. While other information gathered will include location specific updates and targeted advertising. This sounds better (apart from the advertising bit which might be a bit rubbish).
The phone is rumoured to have a dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 4.3” screen, a 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.6 megapixel front camera, while it is expected to run on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 4.5. All of these specs add to the speculation that Facebook does not see hardware as key to its new mobile success, interestingly. Instead their focus seems to be on a partnership with Android so that they can bring their new features to other Android smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung. With this partnership, Zuckerberg is basically aiming to increase the amount of time mobile users spend on Facebook, without the risk and expense of developing his own software or hardware from scratch. We like his style.
Analysys Mason’s principal analysts Ronan de Renesse and Stephen Sale think that one of the only ways for Facebook to expand is to become “more ‘native’ to grow customer engagement”. Looks like he has certainly heeded their advice.
Another freaky feature which Facebook seems to have in the pipeline are the enhanced caller identification pages, which will show scarily in-depth details about the person you are speaking to; their location and certain prompts, such as the name of their children, their last holiday or a recent cinema outing. But before you get too turned off by the whole idea, Facebook have already patented a button to switch this sharing on or off. Thank god for that; methinks that one will only ever get pressed once.
The verdict so far seems to be positive. Kyle Spencer applauded Facebook’s “better late than never” move on stock market news site, Seeking Alpha, saying that “a vertically integrated, horizontally deployed Facebook ‘mini-ecosystem’ will move the needle on user engagement and therefore advertising revenues more effectively than if Facebook attempted to introduce its own proprietary phone/OS into a crowded field against better funded competitors,” he said. “Tactically, it's a brilliant move.”
Facebook shares surged yesterday after expectation over the unveiling tonight, but a survey by Retrevo last month gave off less positive vibes. Only 3% of those surveyed said they would consider buying a Facebook phone, while 82% said they would never consider buying one. Ouch. The remaining 15% said they might consider it after learning more.
Now that's not very encouraging, is it? But what do you think? Would you get yourself one of these new-fangled Facebook phones? At the moment they do strike a bit teenager-y; low-spec, fun filled, Facebook fuelled phones. But, if that floats your boat, why not give it a try? If you do, then don’t forget to recycle your old mobile with us here at OnRecycle. We will find you the best price, guaranteed. And if you liked this blog then why not come and visit us on Facebook, too?