Facebook Just Pulled a Chrome with Facebook Home

Facebook Home Welcome Mat - A Take Over Strategy

Facebook Home Welcome Mat – A Take Over Strategy

So, back last year Mark Zuckerberg was pretty clear that Facebook would not build the all-amazing ‘Facebook Phone’ that blogs have waxed eloquent about. No, software was the puzzle they were focusing on … not hardware. But today, I saw where Facebook pulled a trick from Google’s playbook in taking over an ecosystem with their own ecosystem. The Zuck calls it Facebook Home – and it is a pretty cool idea for the company with an IPO anniversary coming up in May. See the video below for a few little teases …

What I am seeing from their official launch website is basically a take-over strategy of the Android phone OS (operating system) with a Facebook Home ‘super-app‘ that now becomes an operating system in and of itself, with cute little notifications, its own app launcher, and messaging layered on top of the existing Android operating system. It is a way for Facebook to create a phone without creating a phone. Pretty cool idea – but sounds a lot like how Chrome works.

See, Chrome is Google’s approach to create an operating system where people spend most of their time on any other operating system like Windows, Mac, or Linux. In Chrome, there is an ‘app launcher’, and plugins for every web messaging method out there. I barely have to work outside of Chrome … just like how Facebook would love for you barely have to ‘work‘ outside of Facebook Home. A wonderfully interesting attempt at solving the puzzle of dealing with making money for Facebook through mobile. No ads yet, but just you wait.

Apparently, it only works on the latest Android devices like the HTC One X, Galaxy S III and Note II, and this new phone, the HTC First, that AT&T is exclusively carrying starting April 12. So Apple fans, sorry for you – I don’t think our buddies on One Infinite Loop will be allowing that kind of ‘take over’ strategy to work on their iPhone anytime soon. Facebook Home for Apple devices will have to look a little different …

… and for you designers, did you notice the subtle, but interesting, differentiation that Facebook made by its ‘circle’ design language, rather than the ubiquitous rounded square ‘app logos’ of Apple fame? Nicely done …

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