Facebook is launching it’s quasi OS Facebook Home today, for US users, at least. It’s a great move for Facebook, from both the technical and strategic points of view: they can effectively take over an Android phone’s look and user experience and keep the user’s focus on FB’s content without having to go through the trouble of selling the user a new phone with a new OS. If it takes off, they could effectually hijack the Android experience and eventually eat Google’s lunch.
But I’ve long been wary about using Facebook (and Google, and all free services) because in the end, their real customer is the advertiser, and the more effectively they can “sell” their users to the advertiser, the better their business grows. And a mobile phone is so much more personal — we have our phones with us all the time, wherever we are. I really don’t want to be sending Facebook any more infomration about my location and online activities than I already am through their web interface and mobile apps. Om Malik of GigaOm argues the point much more effectively, I think. Here’s the money quote:
Facebook (is) a company that is known to have played loose-and-easy with consumer privacy and data since its very inception, asking for forgiveness whenever we caught them with its hand in the cookie jar. I don’t think we can be that forgiving or reactive with Facebook on mobile
Apple will probably never allow Facebook Home on iOS, but even if they did, I wouldn’t be installing it.
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