At the Facebook Home launch, Mark Zuckerberg stood there, wide eyed and full of joy as he explained the latest innovation from Facebook. No, it wasn’t the long rumoured Facebook phone (At least, not the way we envisioned it would be). It wasn’t even the forked Android version, nope, just a simple launcher. (For a full look of Facebook Home, check out the Android Authority review.)
For some people it was a big disappointment and for others a huge relief, but Zuckerberg ventured forwards, explaining how Facebook Home was the biggest innovation in mobile operating software. He explained that software should be about you, the user, rather than a bunch of widgets and applications.
Facebook Home was meant to show both the public and investors that Facebook understood mobile. A week into the experiment, and for now, Facebook Home looks like becoming a failure.
Sure, Facebook Home has over 500,000 downloads on the Play Store but that doesn’t give us an accurate portrayal of whether the people who are downloading the launcher are actually using it. What will worry Zuckerberg most, is the extremely poor rating of Facebook Home in the Play Store. It’s bad enough that Facebook Home is only compatible with a short list of phones, but the majority of users who can actually download the application, are not finding Facebook Home to be as useful as Zuckerberg claims it is.
Like we thought, the hardcore Facebook users are enamored with the fact that Facebook Home puts their News Feed front and centre. This notion has been most aptly put by one reviewer as
“It’s Facebook. On my phone, my new Facebook phone”.
“It’s Facebook. On my phone, my new Facebook phone”.
Others haven’t quite fallen in love with a constant stream of Facebook. They say it’s an okay application but it’s just a little too in your face. What is recounted throughout many reviews is the love of Chat Heads. It’s clear that Chat Heads is a favourite, but unfortunately for Facebook, Facebook Home is NOT a requirement to use Chat Heads.
Then there are the not so good reviews. More than half of the reviews are one star and what’s worse is there are a multitude of reasons as to why people despise Facebook Home. Claims ranging from a reduction of battery life on their smartphones, to the multitude of complaints over reduction of usability and functionality.
Many complained of the added steps for simple and essential tasks, like using the phone application (“Why would you need to use that, when there is a perfectly good Facebook Voice application,” asks Zuck).
But the biggest problem Facebook Home is reported to have is the lack of customization. One reviewer claims,
“This is an amazing app if you don’t like widgets, folders, or basically any of the good stuff that comes with the Android experience.”
Some said that if they didn’t want widgets then they would have bought an iPhone and others even went so far as to say that they’d deactivated their Facebook and contemplated moving to Google Plus.
But the lowest blow comes in the sheer amount of people claiming that they were uninstalling the application, proving that the 500,000 downloads number is clearly not an accurate representation of active users.
So here is the problem with Facebook Home. It’s a great application for those who are in love with Facebook and have friends who are fun and share interesting things.
But here is the truth for most people. After years of using Facebook, people have amassed hundreds, maybe even thousands of friends and liked hundreds of pages. What this has done is created a large amount of crud in your News Feed. I recently had a good look at my News Feed and came to the realisation that the things that I really wanted to see were hidden under a boatload of garbage that I had no interest in. To fix this I had two options, I could deactivate my account and start over, or begin the long and arduous clean up process. I chose neither and decided that Facebook wasn’t an integral part of my life and that I could live without it.
Many people who download this application may simply come to the conclusion that the reason they don’t like the application, is that they don’t like what is in their News Feed, because that’s basically what the app is. The description itself says “Facebook Home puts your friends at the heart of your phone. Replace your standard home screen with a steady stream of friends’ posts and photos”. With Facebook Home you may find that you don’t actually care about Jessica sharing a picture of her McDonalds meal, or Jason checking in at the bathroom. That’s because it’s easier to see, when your News Feed is beamed right onto your phone, full screen and in front of all the other applications that are integral to you. It’s distracting you from all the other things you like to use and maybe it’s just a little too much Facebook, a little too little everything else. The advertisements for Facebook Home pretty much consolidate it’s distracting nature, because, well just take a look at them.
Zuckerberg clearly believes that Facebook Home is the application that proves Facebook is serious about mobile. That investors and the public alike should come and take a look at Facebook’s vision of what mobile should look like. But for now most of the public have decided that Facebook’s vision of mobile is not for them.
Is Facebook Home the disaster that people make it out to be? Will you be downloading the application? Let us know in the poll and continue the argument in the comments.
What do you think about Facebook Home?
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I’ll save myself the time and effort by not downloading it. I use facebook, but I’m not that big of a fan to have facebook take over my phone….
I’m only on Facebook because my friends are. I only log on to see if anyone’s messaged me. Most of the time I spend on social networks is on Google+, where I have actual discussions. I have no interest in having Facebook everywhere on my phone.
i know what you are talking about, but you like many other people dont see the point of facebook home. its supposed to integrate facebook into your phone seaminglessly and thats what it does. just because you dont like using fb that heavily, doesnt mean its a bad app
its horrible coz facebook isnt only thing we use 24/7….. lot of other stuff we use need shortcuts and we remain stuck on FB screens
I think Facebook Home could have a chance if you were able to pick what you see on your homescreen. I’ve been using it for a week now, I’m kindda getting used to it, but what AA Staff says here is true. You don’t know how much garbage you have on your timeline until you have it in your face all the time. http://www.androidemex.com
Sorry I’ve not tried it and don’t intend to. I use my phone to see the world through twitter, G+, feedly, etc, I don’t see the point of limiting the phone to one source of information. I sure it looks good and will deliver FB well its but not for me.
I think the market for this Facebook home is in India and Asia not in North America.
The problem there is that a lot of people in Asia are using different social networks rather than Facebook. In Asia, Facebook is not nearly as popular as it is in America and Europe. Plus Facebook all the time… “No Jessica I don’t think you’re cheesburger is eloquently made, it’s a cheeseburger for christ sake!”
@google-2350c9655ebba6006c32e56b77a4055b:disqus You cannot be more wrong. I live in Singapore and I have done my fair share of traveling to Europe and Latin America and let me tell you, Facebook is the most popular social network that everybody knows
I remember my trip to Morocco where I was taking pictures with some of the locals I had met and everyone is speaking a language i don’t understand; then, i hear the all familiar “Facebook” they wanted pictures for Facebook. LOL
Korea, Vietnam, Japan and the biggest population, China. All have different social networks (ones that people in America haven’t even heard of) but you are right, Facebook is very popular in South East Asia and India. Still who could handle all that Facebook…
For many people Facebook is the internet. Facebook is huge in SE Asia, you have people wearing Facebook Tshirts. And yes Adam your are right About China, Vietnam that I can confirm. The rest of SE Asia and India are obsessed with Facebook and would go nutso over Facebook home. Thing is most people still sport old school Nokias and such, so maybe Facebook Home is just too early to the party.
Doesn’t help them when all the compatible devices are high end smartphones. Hardly anyone in Asia can afford a HTC One or Galaxy S4…
What you talking about, who can’t afford? It’s no problem to get a free flagship Samsung on contact in Philippines and so on, plus these are the works fastest growing economies. I know Americans who went to Philippines expecting to find a poor country but went home wondering where people got all the money from.
Its a crap overlay, and their commercial promoting it is horrible, actually worse than those Apple Genius ads they ran during the SuperBowl.
I went for “horrible”. They should never get something like that out, with no integration with the notification services system that Android comes with. I don’t know what they were thinking when they implemented it, however they screwed up big time and apparently this is not just my opinion. Back to the drawing table FB!
the idea wasn’t so bad, but it turned out to be something too invasive..
Facebook home was the impetus I needed to pear down my Facebook friends. Went from over 1000 to 375. I think the for most people, “the reason they don’t like the application, is that they don’t like what is in their News Feed” since 60% of the people in their news feed are people that aren’t actually their friends, i.e. someone they met at a bar one night 3 years ago.
As for the app and concept itself, I think it’s brilliant. If this concept was applied using Facebook, Google+, and/or Twitter, and underneath the home screen was your normal android widgets and folders, it would be a home run. (Oh, and if it didn’t result in huge battery drain and data usage.) At this point, it takes away too much utility without replacing it with an equal or greater good.
I tried it. Its gone.
MAN, that thing is annoying!
Don’t install it!! Try Fast Home Widgets for Facebook: a set of widgets made to speed up your Facebook experience! http://goo.gl/bxZ9E
Dumb! Don’t make Zuckenberg any richer than he’s already been with his stupid ideas! I didn’t, don’t, and never will touch anything remotely close to FB.
The only good thing about Facebook Home is that it brought about “Chat Heads” which is the messaging solution I’ve always wanted but didn’t know it. Seriously, if Google “Babel” has this feature I’m pretty sure I’d die from an overdose of awesomeness.
Actually, you don’t need Home in order to use Chat Heads, since it’s part of Messenger.
HTC First – FB Home = “Pretty good stock andoid JB experience… Could be a good mid-ranger”
I thought it was alright, not amazing. Needs a bit of work.
I’ve been using Facebook Home for a while now and I love it. 5*
They need to improve a LOT of things with FBH.
1) There’s no way to control the content that you see [Without modifying your feed on FB]). I may like it if I can see what I want, rather than just my feed being replicated.
2) Widgets Support needs to exist. It really is like Facebook took over my entire phone. I can’t use the widgets I like and the custom app drawers seem non-sensical and disorganized. I don’t want to set all that up. I feel like I’m stealing my phone back from Facebook.
3) There needs to be a way to go directly to the post. Seeing your feed and interacting with it as you would on facebook is mixed. I love the “Double Tap to like”, but it took me a bit to figure out how to comment. And what if I want to share that post? or view the picture (other than long-pressing my feed)?
Honestly, if this existed (with a few improvements) as a WIDGET without taking over my entire phone. (I may go as far as to sacrifice a homescreen for it), THEN and only then would it be acceptable.
My phone is more than facebook… End of story.
Last thing I want is to see several hundred people all having a bad day and venting their frustration on Facebook…
I use and enjoy Facebook, but not so much that I’d want it on my home screen. My friends don’t post the greatest of photos anyway. But I’m not going to complain about the app because of that. I don’t complain about the millions of apps that I’ve decided aren’t right for me…
I’ve only heard one legitimate complaint about this app: you’ll basically get double notifications until you turn them off either in FB Home or in Android. That’s lame.
People still uses Facebook?
Still better than the lame Blinkfeed/Sense on HTC One.
I downloaded and installed Facebook home in order to write a review on it. I couldn’t bring myself to write anything constructive and ended up passing the review off to a co-worker instead. Chat Heads is fun, but most of my friends use LINE (Naver) and it takes up far less RAM.
There are true innovators of electronic technology and there are those who just want to be “liked” a lot. I was concerned about being “liked” in high school. Then I finished and entered the real world. Mr. Z has yet to get out of the high school – that’s why consumers get Facebook home.