Is Facebook Home the Beginning or the End?

The Baer Facts Social Media Controversies

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In this edition of The Baer Facts, I talk with Kyle Lacy of ExactTarget about the newly launched “Facebook Phone,” released to little acclaim last week. As it turns out, the phone isn’t a phone at all (Facebook wisely is staying out of the hardware wars for now), but rather a collection of integrated apps called Facebook Home that puts the entirety of your Android-powered mobile device through the prism of a photo-centric Facebook experience.

I haven’t used it personally, but from afar it seems a little bit like the Windows Mobile interface that uses live tiles and lots of photos to make the phone experience more vivid and alive. Windows Mobile has been a commercial dud, but my wife has a Nokia Windows Mobile phone and adores it.

How Much Facebook is Too Much Facebook?

Mobile users of Facebook already spend more than 30 minutes per day on it, via mobile browser or Facebook’s app. Do we really need a more immersive experience that makes Facebook omnipotent and omnipresent on our phone? Do I really want to turn on my phone and be greeted by yet another photo of the children of a guy I didn’t particularly like in high school, but am nevertheless connected to via Facebook?

Does my mobile phone experience have to be made photo and sharing-centric? Is the whole damn world going to end up looking like Pinterest?

Facebook Home Could Be the Layer of the Future

I’ve got enough Facebook in my life, so I won’t be adopting Facebook Home any time soon (plus, I don’t have an Android device). However, the mobile middleware that Facebook Home represents is an interesting concept, at least to me. To you as well?

It’s not an app. It’s not an operating system. It’s in-between, like a fat app that’s integrated everywhere on the device. It’s like the “skins” that have been developed for browsers (and even for mobile OS) but done better, and more comprehensively.

If, instead of Facebook Home, I could choose a different flavor of Home, one that was based on my interest graph rather than my social graph, I’d be a buyer.

Could I get a phone that is centered around sports? Could I get a phone that is centered around marketing? Could I get a phone that is centered about tequila/wine/beer/food? THESE are ideas that get me more excited than viewing even more of my life through Facebook’s prism.

However, as a Facebook shareholder, I hope it works and they sell a ton of new ads via Facebook Home. Will they?

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