No, Facebook isn’t releasing a phone. It is however working to further envelop its users into its ecosystem, with the upcoming launch of Facebook Home.
Facebook has been careful not to confuse Home as a new operating system or self-manufactured mobile handset. Last week the social network showed off what was a customised user interface for Android phones, putting the social network’s content in the pocket-sized limelight. Status updates and check ins are handled through the app launcher, while the new Chat Heads feature lets your Facebook friends’ messages and updates find you in what ever app you’re using.
By forgoing a single branded handset which would only give Facebook access to a few million of its users, the network is catering to a wider userbase – supporting several phone manufacturers. Any colour as long as it’s Android. Initially Home will only be available on the HTC First smartphone, but from April 12 (US Time) it will be available for other supported Android phones – including the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2.
Today Facebook launches its ad campaign for Home in the US. The Wieden + Kennedy ad (the agency behind Mr Wolfdog) shows a young professional bringing his social network to life while waiting for his plane to take off.