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Facebook Android Home: Zuckerberg's brilliant move

Staff writer |
Why make a new mobile phone when you can make software to rule them all? That's exactly what Mark Zuckerberg did with Facebook Home: it will bypass Google's OS and apps, and become a mobile advertising gold mine.

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Amid all speculation that Facebook will unveil a proprietary mobile phone, Mr. Zuckerberg was constantly repeating that his company is not a hardware. With the presentation of Facebook Home it became obvious that he indeed has an idea how to make Facebook truly mobile and monetize the idea along the way.

Facebook Home is an overlay that turn virtually any Android phone - naturally, there will be some restrictions regarding phone speed - into a Facebook phone. When installed, it will push all apps in the background and become the central place for all communication and will, in fact, look like a new operating system.

All notifications, images and messages will appear on the main screen of the mobile phone which means that user won't have to switch between apps. With a simple touch user will be able to respond to messages - pop-up images are now officially called "chat heads" - and there will be no need for opening an app and going around menus to do such a simple task as answering the message.

Mr. Zuckerberg announced that Facebook Home will be available at Play Store from April 12. The company presented HTC First, a well-crafted four-color phone with Facebook Home preinstalled and available exclusively on AT&T for $99.99. All big mobile phones manufacturers also signed a deal with Facebook. Tablet version will be available in a few months.

Another good move is the option to try the software: users will not be forced to use Facebook Home, they will have an option to play with it and decide does it fit their communication need. That's a very nice move in age when the biggest companies are used to impose their solutions under cover "Users want that." No doubt that Facebook made a great move with a "try and decide" option.

Some 23% of Facebook money came from ad shown to mobile users and there's no doubt that that number will rise significantly. The question is what Google will do? Close Android in some way? Impose new rules for Play Store apps? There's no doubt, it will be interesting to see the reaction from Google: Facebook just found the way to use Google's operating system against Google.

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