Facebook’s Home went live on Google Play today for the owners of a select few Android phones, ushering in the post-app era. Not only did they bring the future, they also managed to become a mobile force to be reckoned with without the painful work of launching an OS and phone. Very smart.
This doesn’t mean that Facebook is necessarily forever in our future. We think there are lots of challenges ahead for Facebook as people become less enthusiastic about a platform that has to change to please advertisers in ways that compromise their core value proposition. Even so, this is interesting.
How it works
Facebook Home becomes the user interface and replaces the need for a traditional home screen. That makes Facebook the doorway that all other apps must pass through to speak to the consumer and puts Facebook controls like Status, Photo or Check-In on every screen. Even better, you can use Facebook Messenger simultaneously with any other app, making Facebook the easiest way to have running conversations without ruining productivity.
Switching between social apps is so 2012.
What it means
Facebook Home enables the social platform to be ever-present, making it the platform for a user’s every communication. It is easy to see where this goes as the end of phone carrier texting, phone calling (already working in Canada) and other things that are connected to the legacy idea of the smartphone fall away in favor of the smartdevice. Cheaper, more convenient and built into the fabric of our relationships. Facebook Home is a life filter.
Consider this for the enterprise, too. If this is the end of the personal app, it’s also likely the end of the enterprise app as a stand-alone piece of functionality. Imagine <Your Company> Home where your collaboration, social interaction and the work itself ‘talks’ to you from a centralized screen while other processes and happen in the background.