06
Apr
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As we all know, Facebook had an announcement earlier this week. The most pervasive social media outlet on the planet announced Facebook Home – a product that essentially amounts to a highly integrated launcher for your Android phone. It also announced the HTC First, a phone optimized for Home, offering a fully Facebook-ed experience.

The launcher is actually pretty nice – features like the unfortunately-named Chat Heads are almost enough to sell this writer on the idea of making an Android hamburger out of a phone, with Facebook Home serving as the top bun (or maybe the lettuce). The key to its success, though, will be advertising. While Facebook, as a website, can effectively tell its members about Home in a way that paid media could only aspire to, the company has already prepared two video spots on the subject.

The first spot we'll look at is the "Airplane" video we saw during Facebook's announcement. Focusing on just how immersive Home wants to be in bringing users closer to their feed and friends, the ad uses a very Nexus 7-ish soft focus aesthetic to demonstrate that, even against FAA regulations, you can stay in touch with whatever your friends are doing, be they vacationing on the beach or posting about a child's birthday party.

The second minute-long spot stacks another cloudy filter on the camera, opting to go for the "you are connected to your phone" approach. The video emphasizes just how often we obsessively glance at our phones, and follows up by letting viewers know that you can get information about your friends' doings every time you turn on the screen. Oh, and that their faces will fly onto your screen when they send you a message.

The ads are actually decent. Are they revolutionary? No. But they aren't bad. That said, there's something interesting happening in the videos – the HTC first is focused on in both, but the voice over never mentions the device. Not once. The final screen in "Airplane" is all about the phone, naming it in light gray text on a white field under the AT&T logo, but the second video doesn't. It would appear that Facebook is focusing on Home, with the First serving as a tangential product. This isn't necessarily a surprise, but the First will probably need more direct attention if either Facebook or HTC are at all interested in pushing units.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • andy_o

    For a moment I thought it would be about how FB is going to cram ads in the Home thing. Which will happen, those bastards. At least don't be sneaky rats and come out and say it, FB. And the "one ad a day on the news feed" thing? I'm getting like 2 or 3 now.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Yeah. Home, in my opinion, does a few really cool things. Its fatal flaw (for me), though, is that it's a Facebook product.

      • auraseale

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    • Mahmood Alawi

      and the best thing about android...
      i that i can tear open that apk and remove any ads :D

  • Noah Lynn

    Is that...SHANGELA in the airplane ad?

  • http://mavi222.deviantart.com/gallery/ Mavi

    And this is how Facebook Home will get more users: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1581371&page=175 (
    [APP][2.1+] Fast for Facebook Beta --> Currently KILLED by Facebook (no reason))

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000453956967 Sabin Bajracharya

    Htc First really looks good In White color. And as much as I hate to say but Facebook Home UI is really very good.

    Will they hide the system notification bar at the top if we install Facebook Home? (I just want to give it a try and If I like it I may use it for a while until Facebook home starts popping up ads)

  • PhilNelwyn

    I never use Facebook, and I'll certainly never use that, but it may be good for Google.
    This is something the iPhone will never have (at least not officially), so if it's successful, some long-time iPhone users might consider buying an Android device for this (even if it's without actually knowing Android).
    No?

    • alexxx

      I'm like you, I despise Facebook/a market study initiative that spyes-ok nough, I just hate to be in the matrix and follow anything or anyone, I don't do that, and my private life and pix are not for the web. And to add, I think and hope its HTC who benefits most after Facebook. I hate seeing that F icon everywhere.

  • GigiAUT

    When the devs manage to develop a ROM for that phone without Facebook Home on it, I'll think about getting one. It's a beautiful piece of hardware but I don't care about facebook. I'd rather not have lolcats and duckface pictures everytime i turn my screen on.

    • Peter

      You can disable Facebook Home and get pure Nexus Jelly Bean Android experience. Confirmed by HTC.

      • alexxx

        ...me again, that's great news!

  • http://twitter.com/lukamlinar Luka Mlinar

    Go Home Facebook, you're drunk!

  • Gabor Csekey

    I'm not using Facebook other than admining a few company pages, but for some, who use their smartphones solely for facebooking/emailng/browsing (and I live with someone who's like that), this launcher/lockscreen replacement can be great.

  • Peter

    Basically it presents you with having no privacy at all, and a pseudo-social "in your face" approach, bombarding you with details from other people lives' you don't really care about - but they want you to care. Nothing more than a monetized social exhibitionism...

    • alexxx

      Thank you so much, Amen to every word you said!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Zerounodos Manoleta Bocchia de Coussillan

    Hey, so, this happened to me: http://i.imgur.com/HKLkwQy.png

    I went to watch to first video and another one started playing, about exercising and a gym, I don't know...what's curious is that the name of the video embedded is right, and the thumbnails in the timeline are right, but the video is wrong. I had no issue with the second one. What's wrong?

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    As an Android fan, I would thank Facebook for spending money to provide free advertisement for the Android platform as a whole.

  • patapongirl

    Cool idea but it also means that people can only have friends who take picture perfect photos from now on.

    Or they will end up with half naked drunk photos of friends as the wallpaper. Lol.

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