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Facebook Home - Why You Might Not Care, But The World Will

Facebook launched Home for Android yesterday, however unless you live your life in Facebook its not very likely that it will be of much interest to you beyond the clever way of handling message notifications and overall design concept. That doesn't mean it can't be a success.

Android users fall into two camps - those who bought an Android phone for the flexibility and customisation capabilities. The other those just starting out with their first smartphone. The former group don't strike me as the target market for Home - I just can't see them giving up their widgets and flexibility for Facebook.

The second group will probably welcome Home as a much easier way to interact with their phones and Facebook. Of course as this group generally has lower spec phones it may be some time before Facebook Home becomes available to them.

Neither of these groups is really Facebook's target market. The real thrust of Facebook Home is at those people who don't have a phone yet, probably don't use Facebook and don't already have a preconceived notion of what a phone should be or do.

The modest specifications of the HTC First device that made its debut alongside Home yesterday points the way forward. Even the name is a big clue to its target. Facebook has been watching as millions of new users choose Android phones for their first device and enter the Android ecosystem - Google+ included.

Home, the First and all that will follow seeks to achieve to goals: firstly to try and get those new users straight into the Facebook network. And secondly to ease access to the sort of marketable information that Facebook sells to keep its business model turning.

Expect to see the rapid arrival of more low end phones running Home by default, possibly even with additional subsidies from Facebook.

For Facebook the product isn't Facebook or the phone, its the user. Yesterday's announcement was all about making that product easier to sell.


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