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Facebook Home Explained

It is no mystery that Facebook is one of the top three social media sites, along with Twitter and now Google+. Android phones are also among the most widely used smartphones, second only to iPhones. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the two technology giants have come together to form Facebook Home. This is the newest development released by Facebook, and allows Android users to change their home screen to fit Facebook, including friend lists and recent status updates.

What is Facebook Home?
Facebook Home is a new app that is available for some Android smartphones. Its intent is to make it easier and faster to check Facebook, update your status and see what your friends are up to. Mark Zuckerberg called it “the soul of your phone” and promises you won’t be disappointed. The app changes the home screen of your phone to one that allows you to use Facebook in various ways, with just one touch. While it is a highly anticipated app for Android users, there is some negative reaction due to the increased lack of privacy.

What Are the Main Functions?
As it is now, you check Facebook either by clicking on the icon on your home screen, or by going through your list of installed apps. Now, Facebook Home’s app replaces your current home screen with theirs. After turning on your phone, you will see a list of recent messages, status updates from the news feed and even access to Instagram, which is now owned by Facebook. It also includes a new messaging feature called Chatheads, where you can reply to your messages without opening the previous Facebook app.

What Are the Pros and Cons?
The primary benefit to installing Facebook Home on your phone is having immediate access to Facebook. Once you unlock or turn on your Android phone, it immediately replaces your home screen. Any posts or pictures recently updated by your friends will now be your phone’s background. Viewing your newsfeed, sharing, liking and commenting can all be done from your home screen without ever opening the Facebook app. All of this saves time for those Facebook users who enjoy checking it multiple times a day. Alternatively, it may be deemed an invasion of privacy. Not only will anyone be able to see your Facebook newsfeed and activity if they see or use your phone, it has been said that Facebook users’ activity is going to be tracked. This might not be an issue for many users who simply want a more social experience.

What is the Availability?
Facebook Home was developed with the HTC Android phones in mind, so they were the first to gain access to the app. Next were several of the Samsung Galaxy phones, including S III and Note II. While additional Android phones will most likely be able to get Facebook Home, it won’t be reaching iPhones any time soon. However, Android tablet users will also be able to get the app in the future. Facebook Home was released in early April to US smartphone users, and international users just recently.

Facebook Home is partly responsible for the rise in Facebook stock, which has gone up to $26.83 recently, a 2% increase. eMarketers research firm also thinks Facebook will soon have 1 billion users; the first social media network to reach this number. This is due to the various changes Facebook has made in recent years, including Facebook Home and ads throughout their site. Regardless, many users are jumping at the chance to try their newest app.

Sources:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/04/03/emarketer-facebook-us-mobile-ad-revenue-soaring/2051265/
http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/04/tech/mobile/facebook-home-five-questions

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