Facebook has unveiled “Home”, an Android launcher that turns your home and lock screen into a social networking hub.
The new Facebook mobile feature is not a highly spun version of Android like MIUI. Rather, Home is a “family of apps” that allow Facebook to supplant itself and build its presence among other non-Facebook apps on Android devices. For instance, the Facebook Chatheads feature will overlay whatever app a user is currently using without having to exit the non-Facebook app first.
“Chatheads gives you this immediate personal connection to the people you care about,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
In regards to the overall user experience of Home, Zuckerberg says that Facebook wants people experience the “system software rather than an app.”
“All of the interactions are really smooth and natural,” Zuckerberg said. “With Home, you see your world through people, not apps.”
Not all Android handsets will support Facebook Home at launch, and currently only a few Samsung and HTC devices support Home. Starting April 12, Facebook Home will be available for the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S IV, HTC One, One X (X+), and the HTC First will come pre-loaded with Home. Facebook has also confirmed that OEMs and carriers including Sony, ZTE, Lenovo, Alcatel, Huawei, Qualcomm, EE and Orange will ship handsets with Facebook Home pre-installed in the future.
To monetize on Home, Facebook will integrate ads into the launcher. The amount ads and their intrusiveness haven't been determined yet, but users who want to try out Home won’t have to worry about ads at launch.
“There are no ads in this yet, I’m sure that one day there will be,” Zuckerberg said when asked how the firm plans to monetize on the launcher.
Once the ads are implemented, there is a high possibility that Home users will begin seeing ads along with their friend updates on their home screen.