The world’s largest social platform, Facebook, has been built around the mission of “giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Facebook is now expanding its mission to make smartphones built around your connections, not your apps. In this post, we'll get Marcus Thomas' Natalie DeGrandis's take on what this means for Brands.
On April 4, Facebook announced Home, a software integration with Android that puts Facebook services front and center. A suite of Facebook apps, Home overhauls a user’s smartphone device, turning it into a Facebook phone.
Today Facebook Home will be available for free download through the Google Play store for four Android phones including Samsung Galaxy S III, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung GALAXY Note. A fifth phone, the HTC First, will also be available for purchase with the Home software already installed.
Each month, Facebook will be updating the software, as well as making Home accessible for more smartphones.
- Cover Feed
- The most prominent feature of Home is the cover feed, which overhauls the mobile device’s home screen and the lock screen, essentially replacing the home screen with Facebook
- News Feed.
- Cover feed will provide updates on what friends are doing without launching an app or even unlocking the phone. Facebook has confirmed that updates and photos from Pages will be supported in cover feed.
- Chat Heads
- Chat heads enables users to chat with friends as they use other apps, such as email, the Internet and even Twitter. When a user receives a message from a friend, a chat head – a picture of your friend’s face – will appear on the user’s screen. Chat heads will appear even if users are communicating via traditional texting.
- Through Home, notifications will be more visually appealing, enticing users to re-engage with the social platform more frequently.
IMPLICATIONS FOR BRANDS
- Engaging Content
- According to the recent study by Flurry Analytics, a consumer spends an average of two hours, 38 minutes per day on smartphones and tablets. 80 percent of that time is spent inside apps and 18 percent specifically in the Facebook app. With Home, users will automatically launch into their cover feed, making it the primary place for engagement. This reinforces the importance of producing engaging content that is easy to interact with directly in the user’s feed.
- Visual Appeal
- Engaging images will become more important than ever as images will dominate even more real estate in a user’s cover feed. According to Facebook, the following stories will be supported by photos in a user’s cover feed:
- Updating your profile photo
- Updating your cover photo
- Open graph stories with user-generated photos
- Liking a photo
- Tagging someone on a photo
- Commenting on a photo of someone
- Sharing a photo
- Non-photo stories include Updating your status, Place check-in with a message, Sharing URLs by clicking the “share” button on another story, and Posting a URL from your Timeline.