Everyone expected a Facebook phone and we all sort of got one. HTC launched the aptly titled HTC First, the mid-level handset with Facebook features front and center.
However, that wasn't really the whole story.
The real news is that Facebook has launched an Android Skin. Mark Zuckerberg and his team just launched Facebook Home, an Android "super-app".
Zuckerberg said Facebook Home is mobile software built around people and not apps (to which Microsoft said this). It's giving users the chance to get Facebook front and center on their mobile device.
So instead of launching a phone, Facebook has launched something phone-esque. It is an Android skin that offers Facebook something different while not offending its friends in the mobile world.
It's a good play from Facebook. They needed to do something to grow and move forward. As a public company they have investors to answer to and needed to show that they have a plan for the mobile market.
A phone may have come on to strong. Giving HTC exclusivity on Facebook would have probably failed in the long run. Too much competition exists in the smartphone arena. Facebook is too big to try to be a disruptive source like Mozilla.
So Facebook did the smart thing and made something that can be used across the world of Android. By doing so, Facebook has the chance to grab some mobile advertising data from all sorts of Android users.
Facebook can now offer location-based data that can be sent to advertisers to offer consumers location-aware ads. The social network can now better monetize mobile advertisements and see improved revenue in the mobile sector, where everybody checks Facebook anyway.
It may not be an amazing announcement, but it's a good one. Slow and steady seems to be Facebook's plan of action. The company is creating something that could branch out into other things but at the moment is pretty simple.
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