Home: Facebook’s New Vision for Mobile Phones

Attempting to revolutionize the relationship we have with our phones, today Facebook introduced the world to Home. Neither a phone nor an operating system, it is a layer of experience built on the Android platform which will bring people to the forefront and push apps to the background.

Mark Zuckerberg stated, “Our lives are now open and connected, we spend our lives sharing and connecting. What if we made it so phones are designed around people first, then apps…Home is a new category of experiences. You look at your phone 100 times a day, the experience should be deeply personal.”

Taking a look at some of the new features that Home brings to the experience, Facebook’s Director of Product, Adam Mosseri introduced us to Cover Feed. A visually rich opening screen for the phone, users can interact with content right from the home screen and see the most important information first.

Next up, Product Designer, Joey Flynn showed the audience how Home handles messaging on the phone. With a core mission of being able to talk to friends no matter what app you’re in, Joey introduced Chatheads, which integrates Facebook messenger and SMS messages in a seamless presentation, taking messaging away from individual apps and into a layer of experience on top of whatever you are working on. Chatheads stays in the  corner and messages persist even when moving between different apps and content. Users can pop into conversations while the  other content stays right beneath. Chatheads allows user to carry on multiple conversations, easily tapping back and forth.

These new functions look to overhaul the mobile phone experience, bringing not just a new mobile version of Facebook, but an entirely new approach to how people use their phones. By adapting to a people first philosophy, Home is intended to make the mobile phone experience more intuitive, bring people closer to what they want, and moving away from the app-centric design that we’ve gotten used to.

Director of mobile engineering, Corey Ondrejka then took the stage to let us all know when Home will be available. Starting April 12, Android users will be able to download Home from the Google Play store. It will also be available for tablets, though not for several months.

The HTC First, billed as the ‘ultimate social phone’ by HTC CEO Peter Chou, is the first phone with Home pre-loaded and will also be available starting April 12, exclusively through AT&T, for $99.99. It can be pre-ordered starting today.

Mark wrapped things up on a philosophical bent, stating how excited he is, not simply about this ‘new mobile version of Facebook,’ rather how this changes our relationship with computing devices; a relationship that hasn’t really changed over the last 30 years. Instead of allowing the apps and devices to be the central point of focus, Facebook Home puts what is most important to people, first.

This article was written by Jeff Howland, Community Manager at Dream Local Digital. Jeff works with businesses, managing their social media networks, online and brand marketing, public relations and communications, integrating their online environments with traditional marketing and public relations strategies. Contact Jeff at jeff@dreamlocal.com or connect with him online >> Twitter  LinkedIn  Google+.

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Geekbook 4.3 | An Internet and Online Media Zeitgeist

Welcome to Geekbook —  Capturing the daily buzz in digital media and online marketing & design, as well as trends, news, and cultural topics that are helping shape and inform today’s readers. Subscribe here to receive Geekbook via e-mail.

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  • The First Mobile Telephone Call: 40 years ago today, a Motorola employee made the first mobile phone call using a Motorola DynaTAC. His first words speak volumes. — Mashable
  • The New York Times Ad Experiment: Continuing its efforts to find new ways to generate advertising revenue, The Times has a new interactive feature allowing users to see the front page of the newspaper on their day of birth. — The New York Times
The New York Times Prudential Ad, tweet
  • Companies Can Now Report via Facebook & Twitter: Though Netflix was in hot water last year for this, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has now given companies the green light to post their earnings announcements on Twitter and Facebook, rather than in an SEC filing or release. — Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Facebook Phone: On Thursday Facebook will host a special event announcing what is being considered the Facebook phone. While not strictly a Facebook phone, it will likely be an HTC model with a custom Android operating system, allowing for more integrated Facebook functionality and likely unique  and lucrative mobile advertising opportunities.– Ad Age Digital
  • Fallon to Replace Leno: In an effort to better reach younger viewers NBC confirmed today that Jimmy Fallon will replace Jay Leno in 2014. — Los Angeles Times 

“I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.” – Jay Leno

(Images via L.E.H., @pourmecoffee, Twitter)

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Geekbook is produced by Jeff Howland, Community Manager at Dream Local Digital, a marketing agency specializing in interactive media, marketing, SEO and social media.

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