Thursday, April 18, 2013

Facebook Home or Facebook Fail?

All the buzz lately in the media seems to be about Facebook Home.  Leaks from everywhere was reporting a Facebook phone.  Zuckerberg eventually announced a less than spectacular FaceBook home instead.

Below is the "Airplane" commercial that Facebook is running.  Like most car commercials this doesn't really tell you much about what Facebook Home is.  In fact this commercial was largely useless except to perhaps convey that most people ignore the stewardess to turn off their phones.


So what is Facebook home?  It's an Android home screen replacement.  There are plenty of home screen replacements and I have tried a few like Go Launcher EX.  I honestly cant find a good use for them.  Most seem to cause compatibility issues with widgets or eat CPU and battery life.  Then trying to uninstall one sometimes is a complete nightmare.

Facebook home is just another home screen replacement.  The concept is that you are such a Facebook junkie that you need to have Facebook the overwhelming application on your phone.  Which is exactly what you get.  All your google apps and widgets are shoved in the closet while Zuckerberg takes the main stage on your phone.

The big features you get with Facebook Home are:

  • Cover Feed - unlock your phone and see your facebook news feed
  • Chat Heads and Messenger - I don't get this, it claims you can chat in the background while doing other things.  Couldnt I do this already with IMO or the standalone Facebook messenger app?
  • Notifications - Facebook annoys you until you acknowledge your updates.  (I hate this feature on the web already why do I need to be annoyed on my phone too)
  • App Launcher - The ability to actually doing something productive. 
And the Google Play rating for this app?  2 stars!

Why oh why would you want this on your phone.  Don't get me wrong here I like Facebook as much as the next guy but so much that I'm willing to convert my home screen to it?  Hell no. The advertisements portray this Facebook nirvana where photos of your friends and family are sending you photos and sharing all of life's great moments. 

Lets face it, what you are really going to see on your phone most of the time will be a memes of cat's, dogs, babies and Obama. 90% of the Facebook posts I see are random garbage.  In fact I've completely removed people from my friends list because of the sheer volume of repostings that take place.  The last thing I want to do is open my phone and see a picture of some kid holding a sign that says they are the 1% of americans that eat ramen noodles while standing on their head.  

When I go to make a phone call this is the last update I want to see on my home screen:

The whole idea of your home screen is to allow you to customize it and get you access to your apps.  Facebook thinks that the only app on your phone worth anything is Facebook.  I hear people say "Finally a home screen focused on people".  If this is the type of poeple you want to focus on, then have at it.  I always thought getting to your apps easily was focusing on you.  I am sure there are are a small percentage of users who love Facebook that much but I don't know a single one.  So for me, this was a serious Facebook fail.  2 stars on the Play store with over 8K reviews seems to confirm what I already knew.