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 3.15 | Social + Design + Media

Welcome to Geekbook —  The Trove looks back at the past week or so, highlighting particular stories and articles, primarily from the digital media and online marketing & design industries, that have captured my attention and compelled me to read on. Subscribe here to receive Geekbook via e-mail.

  • When Did Twitter Grow Up: There have been several recent mainstream examples of how critical Twitter is becoming to brands’ marketing efforts. Using current events and popular culture as a launching pad, brands such as Oreo and even AARP are using Twitter to react to real-time events. By setting up brand newsrooms, companies are able to react to events as they happen, using Twitter’s inherent public broadcasting dynamics to reach audiences on the fly and circumvent the traditional advertising strategies. – Advertising Age
  • Newspapers That Are Owning It On Pinterest: Pinterest, which continues to grow in popularity, is breaking out from its early niche demographics and expanding into a site which businesses are using to generate revenue. Newspapers are now getting on-board and finding ways to use their images on the popular social media site. By creating images specifically for Pinterest and staying away from real-time news reporting, these are some examples of publications that are finding success on the platform. – Dream Local Digital
  • How Time Inc. Should Reinvent Itself as an Independent Publisher: As Time Warner spins off the magazine, Ad Age provides some advice on what they should do next to cut costs and remain viable. From embracing native ad formats, to jettisoning some of its smaller publications, to incorporating video and TV, it will be interesting to see how many of these recommendations are implemented and if they work. – Advertising Age
  • 10 Newspapers That Do It Right 2013: As newspapers struggle to stay in business, this story is an inspiring look at some success stories that could help direct the future for publishers. From retooling traditional insert advertising and front-page editorials, to e-books and community events, these stories gave me hope for the future of print. – Editor & Publisher

“Doing something halfheartedly will bring you half the results.” – Kirstin O’Donovan

(Images via Twitter)

Geekbook is produced by Jeff Howland, Community Manager at Dream Local Digital.

Tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.

Follow Jeff on Twitter and Google+.

Geekbook 2.1 | 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.

Today — Saying goodbye to Ed Koch, Newsweek’s continuing transition takes an interesting turn, Chinese hackers strike another major newspaper, NBC news leadership shakeup, how to handle a social media crisis, and how to catch the Super Bowl online. Have a good weekend!

  • Newsfeed: Former New York Mayor, Ed Koch passed away today at age 88. The newsfeed was full of memories; here are some that Mashable captured. — Mashable
  • Newsweek Renamed: After shuttering its print publication of 79 years, Newsweek has further signaled its conversion to a digital publication. The Newsweek Daily Beast Company is now known as ‘NewsBeast‘. — The Atlantic Wire
  • Newspapers Hacked: After news that the New York Times was infiltrated by Chinese hackers, word came out today that the Wall Street Journal was also a victim of this breach, stretching back several years. — The Wall Street Journal
  • NBC News Shakeup: After running the organization for seven years, Steve Capus, President of NBC News announced today that he is leaving. — Huffington Post
  • Social Mistakes: In today’s ‘Toolbox’ I’m featuring Anton Koekemoer’s article covering ‘6 top tips for handling a social media crisis.‘ — Memeburn
  • Super Bowl Online – If you’re firing up a second screen for this Sunday’s Super Bowl, check out this story to see how to catch the best features in online and social media coverage. — Mashable

“Facebook taketh away, but Facebook giveth, too.” –Megan Garber, writing at The Atlantic online

(Images via Twitter)

Geekbook is produced by Jeff Howland, Online Media Strategist at Dream Local Digital.

Tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.

Follow Jeff on Twitter and Google+.

The Olympic Drama, Recorded

There has been a lot of negative press about NBC’s coverage of the Olympics this year. This The New Yorker story reminded me of the Wide World of Sports days, when we did not simply watch a game, we learned about the athlete, the story behind the seemingly heroic giant of the athletic stadium. We learned that they were just kids, kids like us, who were good at something; really good…and here they were on the world stage. I’m a sucker for a good story, and I love this angle on the presentation of sport. I feel on an occasion so spectacular as the Olympics, that maybe it’s ok (not in all cases, of course) to sacrifice the live broadcast to tell me about this kid’s journey, show me video of them swimming in the pool at age 5, show me the high school gym where they first trained…it’s ok to tell the story; the drama is after all, quite real. And we then may better appreciate what it means, not just to the country, but to that kid, to be there, to stand on that podium.