What can users expect from Facebook Home?

How to install Facebook Home on Android 4.0 or higher_Onsoftware_20130423-143830Facebook Home hit half a million downloads this weekend.  This is only a fraction of the more than a billion active Facebook users as well as Android’s billion active user base.  In other words, less than 0.001% of users have downloaded the platform.  The slow adoption has been attributed to the limited number of devices that Facebook supports, such as Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, HTC One X, and the HTC One X+, along with the HTC First.

This application is trying to position Facebook at the center of mobile users’ digital lives. This is a strategic move considering the amount of time people access their mobile devices.  According to Mark Zuckerberg, the average mobile consumer looks at their screen at least 100 times a day.

Location and content will be a new opportunity to track behavior

If users adopt this technology, advertisers will be able to interact with consumers in new ways: geotargeting will give them opportunities to reach customers through the places they frequent and access to friends’ interests will give advertisers the option to show customized recommendations.

Many users originally joined Home because of the attractive design but found that the app’s ability to tap into all aspects of their social network overwhelming. The app may be prioritizing social features over the basic user experience, such as making calls or accessing other apps.  Also, there is no ability to curate content that your friends are posting. So everyone can see your friends’ embarrassing photos on your lock screen or home screen.

Is this an app or an operating system?

What does this app mean for the consumer?  The app is off to a rocky start with mostly negative reviews and some cumbersome functionality. Also, it may be facing challenges because it fits somewhere between an operating system and an app.  Wired has given it the appropriate title as an “apperating system”; others have labeled it a “launcher.”

What can users expect from Facebook Home?

– Newsfeed ads that include page posts and sponsored stories

– Uninterruption in brands’ ability to show ads.  Consumers can access their friends’ content and be served relevant ads through the “Cover Feed” and home screen

– Cover Feed that shows your friends’ activities

– Texts and Facebook features all in one places

– Profile features let group chats seem more personalized

– For multi-taskers, you can now chat from anywhere on your device, even if you’re surfing the web or watching a video.

For advertisers, Home is an exciting opportunity to access users by providing content that taps into their personal experiences. For users, Facebook takes over their phone, which many people find cumbersome and invasive.  Are you a Facebook Home user? What do you think of the user experience?