For those located in the Bay Area, you know of the San Jose Mercury Newspaper. Lately, an employee has been bringing it into the office. Most people pass it by on the break room table, opting to read news on their phones or listen to NPR as they drive into work, but today a Facebook headline caught my eye.
“Facebook phone a hard sell”
Facebook hasn’t yet announced what the Android-Facebook project is but it sounds to me like Facebook takes over the homepage of an Android phone so the user doesn’t have to even open an app to reach his or her Facebook account. I’d also imagine, through some of the more advanced facial-recognition technology, that finding your phone contacts on Facebook would be easier, and tying together that data would be another way for Facebook to improve several parts of their interface and social graph.
According to the Mercury, “the phone is expected to display content, such as updates and posts from friends when the device is turned on.” Who really turns their phone off nowadays, anyway?
You are now friends… with a third party vendor
Okay, so a more social phone. But what would the downfalls of a Facebook-focused-phone be? For users who feel like they would be absolutely lost without their mobile lifeline, would they feel comfortable with a privacy-battling giant like Facebook having a direct line into their contact data, browse history, location settings, searched restaurants or content on Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter or Flipboard? Or is that the audience of users that prefer it?
There is the argument that Facebook may truly be on to something and will actually make the phone experience better for their several hundred million users. But we also can’t forget that Facebook is running a business and the fact that Facebook “reported more than 300 million in mobile ad sales last quarter” (Mercury News) you can imagine the growth of mobile advertisements; and, instead of being able to simply close an app, you may actually have to turn off your new phone to get away from them.