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TL;DR
  • According to a new report, there could be an Android-powered Facebook smartwatch in the works.
  • Although it is nearly certain Android will power the watch, it is not clear if that means Wear OS.
  • Facebook apparently wants to get deeper into the wearables market and eventually have a homemade OS power its products.

According to a new report from The Information, Facebook could be secretly working on a smartwatch. The anonymous source(s) speaking with The Information says that this unannounced device would ship with the Android operating system.

Related: The best smartwatches you can buy right now

As with other smartwatches on the market, it would have health tracking, messaging, and fitness features. However, it is unclear if it would come with Wear OS as a platform. Usually, the inclusion of Android on a wearable suggests Wear OS, but that might not be the case here.

The Information posits that Facebook is also working on its own operating system for hardware devices (which we’ve heard about before). It’s possible this homegrown OS would power future wearables from the company.

A Facebook smartwatch: Who would buy it?

The problem Facebook faces is the trust from consumers. It’s difficult enough for Google to buy Fitbit without regulators getting nervous. You can imagine what the response would be to a Facebook smartwatch that tracks consumer health data and then puts that data in the hands of a company that has an awful track record when it comes to protecting that data.

However, Facebook did launch a smart display that received a similar outcry from privacy advocates. As far as we can tell, though, that product is still selling well enough for Facebook not to have pulled the plug. Maybe a smartwatch isn’t unrealistic.

Likewise, Facebook’s Oculus brand of VR headsets are quite popular. They technically fall within the wearable category (although they are far different from a smartwatch). It’s possible that Facebook could tie a smartwatch and other future wearables under the Oculus branding and that would quell consumers’ fears.

Time will tell what happens with this. Answer our poll above to sound off on whether you would buy a Facebook smartwatch, and then hit the comments below.