Facebook Home

Facebook Home launched yesterday on Google Play, and reviews have been discouraging. Out of just under 2300 reviews, over 1000 users gave it one star. Home works as a launcher on select Android phones, while still allowing access to your apps or Google Play.

Here are just a few of the one star reviews:

Your phone loses all functionality with this. I had to remove it instantly so I could use my phone. Facebook fails again.
Limits phone functionality, awkward interface, just weird and pointless. No widgets, doesn’t show date and time, can’t easily and quickly access basic functions such as phone (duh I need to make calls), texting, and camera. Uninstalled after 5 minutes.
Very poorly put together. Most homes support widgets and clocks and this one limits you severely. The only thing this does is puts FB on the screen all the time.

Our very own Joe Hindy posted a review of Facebook Home, and here are some of his findings:

  • Tapping anywhere on the screen will display your profile picture. Dragging up takes you to your apps, dragging left takes you to Facebook Messenger, and dragging right takes you to the most recently used app.
  • You can easily access your phone by going to apps, and selecting “Phone”.
  • By default, your status bar only displays if you swipe down from the top. To fix this, select your phone’s menu button, “Home Settings”, and check the box next to “Show Status Bar”.

Currently, Facebook is suffering from a perception problem. The average user may not understand what a launcher is, so they may be downloading Home thinking it’s a regular app. For Facebook Home to reverse the trend, Facebook may need to better communicate exactly what it is. Right now, the screenshots and video on the Play Store page don’t seem to be enough.

For someone browsing Google Play, seeing a 2.5 star rating on an application is usually a major deterrent. We really like the concept of these app launchers, so we’re hopeful Facebook Home doesn’t dissuade too many from the feature. It’s all still very new, but a bad experience now may not be promising for the future.