Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

June 6, 2013

Users find love/hate relationship with Facebook Home

Greensburg — In early April, Facebook launched “Facebook Home.”

You may recall having seen or heard commercials for it. I caught one television commercial that depicted an extended family seated around a dining table enjoying a feast. The focus was on one of the older relatives, who was sharing a story in what appeared to be great, exhaustive detail. The conversation was apparently boring a younger relative, who was instead checking out her phone’s newly installed Facebook Home product.

I haven’t seen this commercial since early April, shortly after the launch of the Facebook Home product. Presumably, this is because the product has met with a lot of mixed reviews. Translation: advertisements promoting the product were pulled due to dissatisfied customers.

Reportedly the product takes social media to an all-encompassing level.

When installed on your phone’s home screen, Home becomes the home screen. As such, your home screen is regularly populated with Facebook notifications. The product’s website describes it as getting “a steady stream of friends’ posts and pictures.” Conversely, users can easily post their own content to Facebook using the Home product.

One of the most-talked-about features of the product is Chat Heads. If you are involved in a messaging-conversation with someone, that person’s face appears in a small bubble on the screen. You can pick back up with

that person anytime you swipe the bubble.

Home only works on Android-compatible Smartphones. It also comes pre-installed on the new HTC “First” phone.

According to econtentmag.com, Home has seen fewer than one million downloads to date. The creators of Facebook Home admit that the reviews of their product have been either highly favorable (i.e. avid Facebook

users love it), or highly unfavorable; there has been little reaction in between. Concerns revolve around the inability to easily access other apps. Users have to ‘drill down’ to find some of the most common features. Others just label the Home product as “taking over their device,” and being cumbersome for those who do not regularly use Facebook. The cost of the HTC First phone (which automatically comes with Home pre-installed) has also dropped dramatically. Experts speculate this is the result of the poor reviews.

To address the concerns of those who were less than excited about the product, Home has released several updates to the software. The makers promise to continue enhancing their product, continually making improvements that are built around people. Its creators want to continue taking feedback under consideration while pushing out improved versions of the product. Reportedly the company’s goal is to enhance the features that users like, and retool those that have been less popular.

As with anything, only time will tell how the product will be received. As the old saying goes “home is where the heart is.” If that is truly the case, perhaps it’s only a matter of time (and improvements) before a

majority of the population falls in love with Facebook Home.

 

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