Facebook Home to benefit developers as well, company says

by: Chris SmithApril 4, 2013

Facebook Home Android Screenshots (18)

Facebook unveiled its Home user interface for Android smartphones earlier today, with the app launching on April 12 on Google Play for a select number of Android devices.

We have already shown you what Home will have to offer (see videos here as well), but it looks like Facebook is not targeting only regular smartphone users with its new UI. The company says that Home will also benefit app developers, by helping “people discover [their] app” and by letting devs “reengage with existing users.”

The main Home features as demoed by Facebook on stage are the Home Notifications, the Chat Heads messenger app, the Cover Feed (based on Facebook’s News Feed) app and the app launcher that will let users access apps right from inside Home.

In a post on its Developers blog, Facebook further detailed the developer-oriented features of these Home elements:

Cover feed: With Home, people can immediately access your app content from their News Feed once they turn on their phone. We also make it easy for people to engage with your content as they can simply double tap to like a post and comment right from cover feed. At launch, Open Graph stories with user generated photos will be supported in cover feed. Click here [see second Source link at the end of this post] for a complete list of the story types that cover feed supports now.

Notifications: People will receive bigger, bolder notifications from you right on their phone home screen. We’ve made improvements to notifications to make them more engaging and easier for people to interact with. It’s never been easier to reengage with people using your app.

Chat heads: We’ve optimized messaging so that people can seamlessly receive messages in a non-intrusive fashion while they’re using your apps. This will help improve engagement as it lets people jump in and out of conversations without ever having to leave your app.

App launcher: Home’s launcher makes it easy for people to get to your apps quickly. People choose what’s on their app launcher and it’s simple for them to get your app in there.

That said, there’s a lot of talk around Home at this time, but it remains to be seen whether it will see a wide adoption or not, and whether developers will actually use it to further promote their Android apps.

Any Android app developers excited to work with the Home UI?

  • Dear devs! Leave facebook and make your own book!

  • AndroidDev123

    Once they introduce ads into the feed, I’m sure it’ll be one of the best ways to promote apps. Other than that, “chat heads” popping up over an uncontrolled part of the app instead of in a reserved notification rectangle at the top of the screen isn’t really something I’m looking forward to.

  • MasterMuffin

    First Blinkfeed and now this!

  • Michael Grabowski

    It’s a shame because – at least for me – this UI is perfect, save for one or two bottlenecks. The major one being Facebook exclusivity. But the simplicity and visual flourish of the skin, combined with complete open app integration would be great!
    And the chat bubble thing is pretty cool, but implemented wrong. The way I’d think would be better would be like: You get a message, it shows up like a traditional Android notification, you tap it, and the chat comes up, then, say you wanna use another app for a second but still want the chat there, thats when you minimize it into a chat head bubble, and open/swipe away accordingly.
    Just an idea.