Facebook Home Falters, European Release Delayed

by Matt Klassen on May 29, 2013

While many people are comfortable in their own homes, it looks like no one is comfortable in Facebook’s Home, and who can blame them with awkward social misfit Mark Zuckerberg always milling about telling everyone how much they’ll love his new advertising revenue streams, err…ideas.

It was just over a month ago that Facebook unveiled its latest mobile strategy—its Facebook Home super Android app aimed at putting friends at the heart of your phone, and the HTC First, the smartphone designed solely around Facebook’s new Android interface. Since then, however, consumer adoption of either product has been, well, less than encouraging, with AT&T already slashing the price of the HTC First from $99 to $0.99 on a two-year contract, once again evidence for my repeated claim that no one wants a Facebook phone.

Now as Facebook Home and the HTC First get set for their European launch, news comes that the social network might already be rethinking its Home mobile strategy, as reports indicate that European partners Orange and EE have delayed the rollout of HTC’s social smartphone at Facebook’s behest.

While Facebook Home experienced a strong start, its popularity quickly declined, and by delaying the European release of the HTC First its clear Facebook is heading back to the drawing board, hoping to tweak the Home app to attract more users before it alienates all of them.

In fact, despite the initial surge of public interest in Facebook Home—truly a brilliant strategy to usurp Google’s control over its own Android platform—the fact of the matter is that social networking is but one of the many things we want our smartphones to do, so while the installs of Facebook Home greatly exceeded expectations during the first few weeks following its release, interest quickly fizzled, replaced by heaping spoonfuls of disinterest, boredom, and even downright hatred.

But most of these struggles are Facebook’s own doing, Chris Reeves, cofounder of 2930 Creative recently told the E-Commerce Times. “Facebook didn’t do a great job of explaining why people should download the app — what they would get from Home, in other words,” Reeves said.

Adding that Facebook really hamstrung itself by choosing HTC as its inaugural partner, although HTC’s willingness to do whatever Facebook wanted likely helped in the decision-making process. As one might expect, this frustration with Facebook was likely a contributing factor to a recent mass exodus of top level HTC executives unhappy with the direction of the company.

While Facebook Home clearly needs a rethink and a retool before it’s released to the rest of the world, it’s clear that the social network is operating on borrowed time, meaning it has to get its mobile app right, and it has to do it quickly. As independent market analyst Jeff Kagan explains, already late to the mobile party and having its first serious mobile effort flop, the “stakes are high for Facebook, no matter how wealthy a company it is.”

In fact, if Facebook isn’t able to gain traction in the mobile space, we could actually be seeing the beginning of the very long road to the end for the social network, as it wouldn’t be the first time we saw a meteoric success story eventually falter because it was unable to adapt to changing consumer and industry trends.

Did you like this post ? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Previous post:

Next post: