For days the tech media and the public have been all atwitter on the arrival of the "Facebook Phone." Well, today was the big day, but it’s not really a phone. It’s an app called Facebook Home that owners of Android phones can load onto their devices.
With much fanfare, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did the unveiling. “Our phones today are designed around apps, not people. We want to flip that around,” Zuckerberg said.
As described by CNN Money, Facebook Home, available April 12, integrates all of the social network's services into the Android operating system. Instead of having to download and call upon apps to get to services such as Facebook Camera, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, those features are baked into Facebook Home. After a user downloads Facebook Home to an Android phone, all those services become available from virtually anywhere in the device.
In addition, Facebook Home will put updates from the social network right on the home screen via a feature called Cover Feed. Content from Facebook takes up the entire screen, with no navigation whatsoever. A feature called Chatheads will manage conversations with friends. People you're interacting with via Facebook Messenger appear as pop-up heads on the margin as opposed to intrusive notifications.
What does Facebook Home mean for communicators? Simply that Facebook campaigns will be more visible than ever to smartphone users (Home for tablets is on the way). PR professionals must make their campaigns as compelling as possible in the mobile format, or else the advantages of leveraging Facebook’s new mobile technology will be all for naught.
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