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Yesterday, Facebook made an announcement that shook the mobile industry to its very core. It literally changed everything. They announced not only new software, but also unveiled a new device from HTC, which will be optimized to run that new software! All of those rumors finally came together, collected over the past couple of years, to create something truly groundbreaking. Mark April 4 on your calendar, ladies and gentlemen. An epoch took place on that particular date, and nothing shall ever be the same.

Or, Facebook announced a new Android launcher, and HTC unveiled a mid-range device called the First.

You decide.

In all seriousness, yesterday did mark what I will certainly hope is the end to all those “Facebook phone” rumors. At least for a year. I think we’re seeing that Facebook, or Mark Zuckerberg at least, wants to be the Facebook phone in the First from HTC. More than that, I think their idea of what a Facebook phone should be is what they’ve designed in Facebook Home: A launcher that replaces your TouchWiz/Sense/Stock launcher in favor of the lowercase “f.” As Zuckerberg and company put it on stage yesterday, it’s not about an app, but about the people you know.

On Facebook.

As the day was winding down, Anna Scantlin wrote about why the HTC First will make a great first phone for plenty of people out there, and she’s right for plenty of reasons. At “only” $100 on a new, two-year contract the First will see plenty of second looks for anyone who uses Facebook as their social network of choice, and doesn’t want to pay more than $100 up front for their phone.

Except, I can barely justify that as a reason to buy the First. There are just other options. Right now, if you look at the Samsung Galaxy S III from AT&T, you can buy it on a new, two-year contract for $100 as well. And guess what? It’s getting Facebook Home, too, beginning April 12. The main difference is that the Galaxy S III has a better display, faster processor, and just overall better specifications. Why anyone would pick up the First instead of a Galaxy S III is just a little beyond me. Unless you just can’t stand having a screen larger than 4.3-inches, and then I understand perfectly.

I use Facebook to stay connected to family and close friends, especially those who haven’t made the switch to Twitter. However, my main takeaway from Facebook is its Messenger functionality, and not so much, well, anything else. Do I need a proprietary launcher to replace the Facebook app? No, not really. Do I need a launcher to replace my SMS and Messenger applications? Not really. The app itself is fine, and Messenger does exactly what it’s supposed to. I don’t check my Facebook stream . . . timeline? . . . Whatever it’s called enough to see the Facebook Home as a rational choice for me.

However, I do know people who practically live on Facebook, and so I think Facebook Home will be a good option for them. An option, at the very least. Some of these people have Windows Phone 8-based devices, and they use their lockscreen settings to keep their Facebook notifications right there up front at all times. Facebook Home for Android is like that, but better, in that it has more functionality.

Let’s not mess around here: Facebook Home is designed for the people who use Facebook, the way that Facebook thinks you should use it. This isn’t for folks who check their page once, maybe twice a day. This is for the folks who use Facebook to connect, check-in, message, read, and just generally interact with those around them. There’s nothing wrong with that. Facebook is making something that speaks to its most personal members of its customer base. Good for them.

But that doesn’t mean you need to include the whole experience, Facebook. Because, as much as I think the Facebook timeline is fine, and it gets the job done for showing me things that family members and friends think or are doing, the one thing I absolutely hate is advertisements. I’ve literally hated every single step of their evolution in Facebook’s history. They used to be hard to catch. And then they appeared on the right side of the page, but they’d disappear after a little while if you didn’t interact with them all that much. (I kind of remember being able to dismiss them, too. But maybe that was a dream I had once.) More recently, though, the right side of my page is drowned in ads. That’s all it is.

But, worse, is that advertisements, for all sorts of different things, have invaded my timeline. These ads are actually one reason why I don’t find the need to check Facebook as often as I could. I just don’t want to see them. But obviously Facebook has jumped on the advertisement train, and they don’t plan on getting off anytime soon.

In fact, Zuckerberg confirmed at the press event yesterday that while Facebook Home doesn’t feature any advertisements right now, that it will have them at a later date. So, for those of you out there who are excited to get your fingertips on Facebook Home, cherish the moments you have with it now, because you’re going to be swallowing ads all day every day at some point in the future.

That doesn’t sound fun at all. I’m not even a fan of advertisements showing up in the Android notification shade, something we’ve seen implemented in the past. If the Cover Feed really will be a home for advertisements, then I’ve completely lost any and all interest in it. And since Messenger works just fine on its own, and Instagram works, too, I guess Facebook Home is just something I’ll only be able to experience vicariously through others.

How do you feel about advertisements being in the Facebook Home Cover Feed? Do you think that’s a smart move on Facebook’s part? Or do you believe they should be trying to keep the experience about the people in your life (that you know through Facebook), without shoving product placement down your throat? Let me know what you think about Facebook’s impending new software.


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45 Reactions to this post

"Advertisements are coming to Facebook Home's Cover Feed. Do you believe that will ruin the overall experience for users?"


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JD Thayn Ads + Smartphone's homescreen = disaster
Jason Vargas And there it goes. From a good idea to a complete flop
Randy Walker Sr. Yes I do for those that use this launcher or phone. For me it won't becuase im not planning on using FB Home. Hell the FB app on my phone still not working properly.
J Alberto Garcia Flores Yes, you paid for that phone! It's not like you got it for free. I'm not using it when it comes to my S3
Cyrus Taylor If they're video that can't be stopped from playing then yes probably so, we have satellite Internet with limited downloading and I don't want ads to use it all up
Marcus Samual Winchester I can accept that they need to earn revenue through advertising and I can deal with that on the PC client, but what I am outright against is adverts becoming a core part of Facebook Home, it will destroy the experience for people if they are being bombed with adverts. Just look at the Kindle Fire, you got to pay $25 to remove the ads on that. With the HTC First, you gonna be intruded by their ads all of the time and it will ruin the experience, and if they're hoping for people of other devices such as the One, One X and S3 to download this, it will be a short lived download because people care about their privacy and they hate ads on such a small screen. Its a hard choice for Facebook, the IPO has really screwed them up and they're only going to harm themselves with ads on FbHome
Rushil Vig There goes the little hope i had in this thing...
Brain Roopull I have used several free launchers, and none are obnoxious enough to actually put ads ON the home screen! They're there, but in much less intrusive places like the bottom of the app drawer. There are two places I won't tolerate ads... the notifications and the home screen. Interfere with the functionality of the device, and you're uninstalled.
Glenn Rubio Urrea Is that to say there will be a paid version of Facebook Home to get rid of the ads?
Chenou Xiong Booooooo!!!!
Brandon Beamon Heck yeah it'll ruin the experience
Dorian Delandro If you ask this question you should give a less definitive headline.
William Almes Ads? You mean those damn pop up ones? Why? Why are they there?
Jose Be Julme Smh. Bad bad bad.
Joshua Tewell Did they actually say there would be ads in the *Cover Feed* or are you just sensationalizing for clicks? There are already ads in facebook, so to expect them to drop that because you're using their free launcher is a little ridiculous.
Cornelius Hardy Ads is the entire reason that you get a lot of things for free. Somebody has to pay for it.
Frank Porter This will absolutely ruin the experience. Why wouldn't it?
JayR Yambao Ads are fine in free apps but if it's going to be on Facebook Home which is basically a custom launcher then no. Nobody wants to see an ad for zynga poker on their lock screen.
Susan Hugus Yep, I don't even like the ones I get now. I am also starting to dislike the huge pictures I have go through on Facebook and Huffington Post which have nothing to do with my friends or those that are not real news.
Jonathan Coffey Advertisements are the reason why Facebook is still around. Nobody wants to pay to use Facebook but then complain when they see advertisements. The owners need to make money some how so they can pay employees and keep everything running proper.
Michael Le NO! Cause I dont plan to use it!
Mark Belkowski my god, is phonedog in love with this phone or what?
Travis Newhero Yeah, I hate it enough when I see ads in my feed, or well stuff I should unlike because if no interest.
Mzzfluffy Bezzleggz Yes but then There's Google + to fall back on
Micca Koster How much more money does Facebook need to make. I hope facebook home flops
Brain Roopull They won't run on my Home experience.
JerryandAudrey Smith It already ruins my phone experience on the gs2
Steve Hirjak Agree. Serving up ads will be a deal breaker for many
Christopher Manic Johnson Its understandable, but it would be an eyesore. If there could be a setting to show or hide advertisements, then by all means.
Steven B Arellano No different than all the ads you get with the iOS apps.
Jesus E. Garcia I guess is time to close my FB account and move on somewhere else like Google+ & Twitter....
Aaron Couts Yep more reason not to have it
Devin Vosburgh It is almost like they try to fail sometimes...with these ideas..
Anthony Evans it will kill it
Justcallme Ren Ads ruin the facebook experience in general. And honestly, doing something that stupid will just deter people from using it.
Qi Ren Yes it would.
Enes Nadir Çomoglu It will, definitely.
Jesse Ling Not if im not using it :)




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