Facebook Home is a flop… but the attempt made sense

By | May 16, 2013

At this point it’s pretty much safe to say that Facebook Home is a flop. The hype has come and go in less than a month. Rumours are circulating that the HTC First, Facebook Home’s flagship device, will be discontinued any minute.

For many months, years perhaps, there was a rumor in the blogosphere that Facebook would launch its own phone. During the presentation of Facebook Home, Zuckerberg explained precisely why it made no sense: (paraphrasing) “A Facebook phone would only sell 10 to 15 million units at best.”

It made a lot more sense for Facebook to tap into the whole Android community, which as of yesterday apparently boasts over 900 million active devices. In theory, publishing an app that turns your existing phone into a Facebook phone showed much more promise than the possibility of 10 – 15 million devices sold to hardcore fans.

Yet, slightly over a month after its launch, Facebook Home has just passed the million installations mark on the Google Play store, and 9,000+ users have taken the time to give it a 1-star review, towering over the 3,000+ 5-star reviews.

That’s probably not the success story that Facebook was expecting.

Here’s why Facebook Home is a flop:

There’s such a thing as too much Facebook, and a lot of users are reaching their limit.

Facebook is fun, it’s a convenient way to organize events and stay in touch with your friends, but the common user doesn’t want to be invaded by it, as shown by some of these reviews of Facebook Home in the Google Play store:

I tried it, liked it, but it’s not for me. I not a fb junkie like that, my wife would love it. But she has a iPhone. And not to mention I would like to see a small format for the time of day on the screen.

It was fine for a facebook addict. But seems to run through alot of data and battery. Uninstalled.

Just takes a nice phone and ruins the interface. Waste of time.

Not a big Facebook user and was hoping this app would appeal to users like me, but did not quite hit the mark. The fluidity is great except Its constantly freezing/refreshing the home screen. Three stars for its functionality minus its appeal to a wide audience.

 

It is my opinion as a humble blogger that Facebook Home made a lot of sense as a strategic move to increase its presence in the mobile sphere. After Messenger, Page Manager, and other specialized apps, it made sense to gamble on something bigger in hopes to appeal to the hardcore users and convert active users in the long run. And a pool of 900+ million potential users seemed like a worthwhile prize.

I just don’t think that the common man is ready to give up his phone’s integrity and convert to a mostly-digital life. Are you?