Monday, June 30, 2014

Anatomy of a Dumb Smartphone: The Facebook Phone Failure

Along with its disastrous release of the standalone Facebook phone, the social media giant last year released its "Home" application that installed the Facebook-centered skin and start screens onto any Android-powered phone (essentially turning it into a Facebook phone).  Was the software route any better than the immediately discounted and discontinued phone itself?  Immediate reactions were not positive, and even Mark Zuckerberg admitted the project was a misfire, and not living up to expectations.

But what happens to lame old applications in the Google Play store? Very little, it turns out. The software is still there in the store, available for downloading.  But the lack of confidence by its parent company is apparent, when you see that the software has not been updated in the last six months. So the ghost ship of the once highly anticipated Facebook phone drifts along toward its slow oblivion...

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
The New York Times

Link to article:
What Happened to the Facebook Phone?

Excerpt: "Facebook has long wanted to be a major part of how you use your smartphone. Now, it looks as if the company has all but abandoned one of its major strategies to do so.

The company has disbanded the team of engineers originally assigned to work on Facebook Home, its custom-made mobile software for Android devices, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Released with much fanfare last year, Home was the result of the social giant’s multi-year effort to more deeply integrate Facebook features into an Android smartphone. After downloading and installing the software, for example, Home made it faster to view Facebook photos and send messages to friends directly from the home screen of the phone without needing to rely on Facebook’s popular mobile app to do so.

In effect, the Home software transformed a smartphone into a Facebook phone.

Shortly after it was released, Home ran into snags. Early adopters rated the software mediocre at best. And six months after the introduction, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the software was hardly the hit he wanted it to be.

'I definitely think Home is slower in rolling out than I would have hoped,' Mr. Zuckerberg said in an interview at a tech conference last year.

The Facebook Home software, which is still available for download in the Google Play app marketplace, has not been updated since January. Facebook declined to comment.

While the company has not formally retired the software, Home’s failure to catch on is an embarrassing misstep for Facebook, which spent years trying to create a home-grown version of a Facebook phone as consumers moved en masse from desktop computers to Internet-connected mobile devices.

'It wasn’t the right product at the right time for their customers,' said Brian Blau, a research director and analyst for the Gartner Group. 'Facebook always thought they could turn things around, but they haven’t for whatever reason.' "

No comments:

Post a Comment