After it’s earlier US launch, Facebook Home finally landed in the Google Play Store on Tuesday night here in the UK. We were quick to install the much hyped app and see whether it lived up to its own hype. Some see this as a big mobile leap for the social network. And is it? In a word, no.
This may not have been the much rumoured Facebook Phone people had been gossiping about for over a year now, but to some it was the big mobile leap needed for the social network. However what Facebook have actually delivered is a stock launcher for high end Android phones.
We’re not Facebook’s biggest fans but hold our hands up to getting excited about Facebook Home, hoping it would bring us back to the platform like a prodigal son. But having played with Facebook Home for a while we think we’ll have to wait for the new redesign instead (that we’re STILL waiting for after being announced months ago).
So why aren’t we in love with Facebook Home? Well, like the 3,389 (and rising) one star reviews we’re underwhelmed. The top review on the Play Store is a good place to start:
“No widgets, kinda clunky, and pretty much just Facebook with access to your apps drawer. Meh, an unimpressive launcher compared to most others.”
If like us you have a Samsung S3 you’ll be used to Touch Wiz that, although not perfect, is a good interface. We’ve also played around with Go Launcher which brought a slick environment onto the older Galaxy S2. Facebook’s launcher does bring social to the forefront of the mobile experience, but for us it tended to get in the way of everyday smartphone tasks. If you want Facebook, you go to the app or include the widget on your homescreen. For many, that’s enough.
Facebook Home looked slick and, dare we say it, sexy when unveiled. But when you start playing with it you realise that posted images really only work if they’re fantastic landscapes or shots from a DSLR. Not if they’re meme’s, postcards, or dodgy camera phone shots which, let’s face it, most personal updates are. Chat Head’s is similar in that some shots just do not work well.
As a first attempt it works but it has a way to go to being perfect. Facebook Home will appeal to a sizeable audience of Facebook addicts, but for most it’s possibly a redundant feature.
For marketers though, Facebook Home offers another way of getting your messages in front of audiences. Along with the upcoming feed change, we anticipate a move towards more visual content from brands as content marketing strategies adapt to these changes.
Have you downloaded Facebook Home? Are you a lover of hater? Let us know by posting a comment below.