3 years we have all been promised a phone that will change the future of Facebook and mobile. 3 years we have been waiting for a phone [with the help of HTC, I think] for something that will make our eyes twinkle, our tummies flutter and our brains explode with excitement. 3 years to this… a disappointment. Last Thursday, jeans and t-shirt wearing Facebook owner Zuckerberg launched their ‘Facebook phone,’ a phone that doesn’t do any of the above because all it really actually is, just an app. Way to go Zuckerberg, where’s the excitement in that?
The app boringly called ‘Facebook Home’ is aimed at users to have access to Facebook ALL the time. Who actually wants access to Facebook all the time? I use Facebook a few hours of the day personally and probably professionally too but have access ALL the time? Who would want to do that? The billion dollar social network insists the app doesn’t have any access to privacy settings and that anything on your pre-existing phone won’t be altered and your controls will work exactly the same when using the app at all times. Apparently you can switch it off if you get tired of seeing your friends popping up all the time talking about their stuff, constantly whilst you’re texting your nan. It’s just some shit excuse for something exciting from the social network because Zuckerberg has absolutely no idea how to make his company a little more awesome that it once used to be. Mate, think about it, maybe it’s time to take a chill pill and think of something that is justifiable within the social media world.
Commentators are freaking out the detailed data that could be mined from home users could intrude on private life and many have taken issue with the claim that home put people, not apps, at the heart of the mobile experience, saying it would help Facebook sell ads. Mark Zuckerberg showed off the new app at Facebook’s campus in a presentation, where he said it was an attempt to do away with app-centred systems that were a legacy of the computer world in which people clicked on an icon to start a program. Once installed on the Smartphone device, the Home app takes over the lock screen and main display by then turning it into a live feed of information, notifications and images we Facebook users already are sharing on the Facebook news feed already.
So far this has bothered a few geeks, Facebook lovers and industry watchers including Om Malik of tech news website GigaOm who said
This application erodes any idea of privacy. If you install this, then it is very likely that Facebook is going to be able to track your every move, and every little action.
I don’t have a HTC phone or similar to be able to use Facebook Home but the idea of having my privacy ripped away from me makes the idea of using the app daunting and I’d rather go back to my secondary school brick phone than risk all that with an app. I love using my Facebook on my laptop, on my iPhone and on my iPad but however much I do use the site is down to me, the thing is, I don’t want it all the time clogging up my phone with other people’s endless crap about whatever at ever second of the day. That’s why I keep my usage how I like it, controlled. I log on when I want to and log off when I want to. Maybe Facebook need to understand they’re not going to be around for ever, something bigger and better no doubt will come into the ranks and catapult Facebook into space, but until then Zuckerberg needs to stop thinking it’s more important than it actually is. If everyone wanted a phone, Zuckerberg should stop his minions firing up ideas and instead approach the people to get a better idea of what is wanted, just a thought.
I’d be interested to hear what users of the Facebook Home app say after a couple of months using it. Maybe times may change and I’ll have been wrong, but until then, I’ll keep my privacy close and Facebook on a log on, log off basis.