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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Facebook Announces Big Changes to News Feed

Today, Mark Zuckerberg and the crew at Facebook announced some fairly significant design changes to the news feed. Bringing bigger pictures, better filtering of stories, and a consistent mobile design, Facebook’s goal is to allow users to more easily focus on the stories they care about and make those stories richer and more engaging. The three key elements in the design changes are:

  • Rich Stories – The new design has a big focus on visuals, providing bigger pictures and videos, as well as providing more engagement by showing you who is sharing the content. Third party applications, such as Pinterest will have richer visuals in the feed as well.
  • Choice of Feed – To help users focus on the stories they want to see, several new feeds will be available. An ‘All Friends’ feed will allow users to see every single post from all of their friends in chronological order. A ‘Music Feed’ will allow users to see posts about the music they like, and a ‘Photo Feed’ will comprise all photos that users friends and pages post.

  • Mobile Consistency – Inspired by mobile design, the new look will be consistent across platforms, whether you’re on a laptop, tablet, or phone. With this new design Facebook is trying to “get Facebook out of the way and push the content to the front.” This mobile inspired approach provides a much cleaner, more modern feel.

The limited rollout starts today, hitting the website version first, then moving into mobile versions over the next couple of weeks. As with most releases, they will limit the rollout until they’ve had chance to get some user feedback and make adjustments.

What changes do you like (or dislike) the most?

This article was written by Jeff Howland, Community Manager at Dream Local Digital. Jeff grew up in Maine and has lived in the midcoast area for the last 13 years. Since graduating from the University of Maine with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology, he has held positions within the industrial sector, as a software engineer, and the financial and marketing sectors, in a broad range of technology management and client support roles. Currently, Jeff is on the Boards of Directors for two local non-profit organizations in the public affairs and education sectors. As a Community Manager at Dream Local, Jeff works with businesses and non-profit organizations, managing social media networks, online and brand marketing, public relations, communications, and more, to ensure their online environments are consistent with and complementary to their traditional marketing and public relations strategies.When ‘unplugged’ Jeff likes to go for a run or sit down with a good book. Please contact Jeff at jeff@dreamlocal.com or connect online >> Twitter  LinkedIn  Google+.

Geekbook 3.1 | Trove Edition

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.

  • How Facebook’s Timeline Was Born: Get a peek into the Facebook ‘labs’ and listen as Nicholas Felton as he describes the creative process that went into Facebook’s Timeline. It’s amazing to hear him talk through the sequence of events from his creation of the idea to Facebook’s implementation of it. — Fast Company
  • Financial Times Editor on Digital Transition: As the newspapers and the rest of the media industry continue to work through major industry changes, this piece was particularly interesting. Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times talked with The Guardian about his plans to tackle this digital revolution. With a combination of a production changes, a strategic change of direction for the international editions, and staff cuts, he walks through his plans to get through it all. — The Guardian
  • The Unfair Stigmatization of Digital Notetaking: Up until about a year ago I still primarily used a notebook to take notes at meetings, etc. However, now I find myself bringing my Mac or iPad to meetings and taking notes directly in Google Docs or Evernote. I confess to chronic multitasking when taking notes this way, but is that fair these days? Alexandra Samuel provides her experiences and insights here. — Harvard Business Review
  • When Will the Internet Reach Its Limit: As the number of connected devices increases immensely from year to year, is there a point where the Internet will break? Larry Greenemeier at Scientific American looks at indicators that we’re reaching a limit,  and walks through some interesting (read: geeky) ways to increase its limits. This is a pertinent topic and it’s nice to know someone is thinking about a solution. — Scientific American
  • First the media gets disrupted, then comes the education industry: Being in the middle of the digital media revolution our focus tends to be on newspapers, publications, and media. However, Mathew Ingram’s story here looks at another area that is primed for disruption: education. In a conversation with Harvard business professor, Clay Christensen, he talks about how the availability of high-quality online learning could be a game-changer. Mathew provides links to other articles that dig into this topic even further. — GigaOm

(Images via Twitter, Fast Company, The Guardian, GigaOm, Don Skarpo)

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 2.25 | 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 — The Academy Awards leaves Twitter a flurry and appears to have taken over Geekbook for the day. With a variety of dynamics that emerged from social media last night, I’ve shared a few of the stories captured. In other news, The New York Times will rename The Herald Tribune, Warren Buffett buys another newspaper, and a look at the first 25 people on Facebook and what they’re up to now. Enjoy!

  • Real-Time Marketing The Oscars: After Oreo’s big success at real-time marketing during this year’s Super Bowl, brands tested the waters at last night’s Oscars. Kevin Allen looks at some winners and losers. — PR Daily
  • Herald Tribune to be Renamed The International New York Times: Continuing the focus on building its core, The New York Times announced today that it would rename the 125-year-old newspaper in the fall. — New York Times
  • Oscar Night’s Highs and Lows on Twitter: Twitter really shows its strengths during cultural events, though among the positives, there is a lot of snark and negativity to navigate around. Heather Kelly captured some of the evening’s examples here. — CNN
  • Warren Buffett buys Tulsa World: Warren Buffett’s newspaper group has purchased its 28th daily, purchasing The World, first published in 1905 and Tulsa’s only daily since 1992  — Omaha.com
  • Oscars’ Best Dressed (on Twitter): Viewers following the Oscars on Twitter were able to submit their vote for best dressed using the hashtag #BestDressed. See who dominated the win at 47% of the votes! — Mashable

  • The First 25 People on Facebook: This is a story from earlier in the month but I wanted to make sure to share it, not just because it is interesting to see where they are now, but also because it transported my mind back to that time, and made me realize how young many of them were and how cool it must have been to be a part of Facebook’s first days. — BuzzFeed

“It is wonderful how much news there is when people write every other day; if they wait for a month, there is nothing that seems worth telling.” –Anna Masterton Buchan, Scottish writer

(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+.

Geekbook 1.31 | 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 — Chuck Hagel gets grilled at confirmation hearings, Facebook releases new gift card, a poetical look a the old, new media, Warren Buffett’s bet on local newspapers, Twitter’s photo/video enhancements, and some social media tips for photographers. Enjoy!

  • Newsfeed: Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing dominated the feed today, as senators hammered the Secretary of Defense nominee for hours. – The National Journal
  • The Facebook Card: Facebook enhances their previously released ‘Gifts’, with a new gift card. This reusable card works across multiple merchants while maintaining a separate balance for each. – The Next Web
  • When Newspapers Were New: I thoroughly enjoyed Alexis Madrigal’s essay, venturing back to a time when newspapers were considered new media. An interesting look at how writers and journalists of the time responded to new forms of communication and how they integrated them into their craft. – The Atlantic
  • Buffett Expands Newspaper Portfolio: Warren Buffett’s media group has purchased the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record. Buffett stated,  “newspapers that intensively cover their communities will have a good future.”.  – Poynter
  • Twitter Update: Twitter rolled out a significant update today, making it easier to view photos and videos on the site. Now instead of opening pictures via a new tab, photos will expand within the current window- Mashable
  • 7 Twitter Tips for Photographers – Allison Stadd provides a seven great overview of how Twitter can become a key tool for photographers. – All Twitter

“I’m sorry. I stopped listening after you said ‘supposably’.” someecards via Ragan.com

(Images via Twitter, AFP/Getty Images, Shutterstock respectively)

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+.