As caretaker of a service with a billion users, Mark Zuckerberg is used to sparking protest. Any time his company releases a new product, adjusts a privacy setting, or even tweaks the design, thousands of outraged Facebookers take to the Web to decry the change. So Zuckerberg can expect to hear sirens today, as he announces Home, Facebook’s most dramatic response to the pivot from desktop and web to phones and tablets. New paradigms like mobile can be the ill winds that blow down card-houses of tech dominance, and to maintain its status as the alpha social network, Facebook must get this right.
First, what it’s not: Home isn’t the long-rumored Facebook Phone.
That was always a red herring. Instead, Home turns your phone into a
Facebook device. Even with the lock screen on, a photo stream of your
friends’ activities fills the screen. Updates appear on your home
screen, too. What’s more, Home makes Facebook the primary means of
communication on your device. The company’s messaging software merges
with SMS, and you can continue using its “chat heads” to text while
inside another app. Zuckerberg believes that the social network plays
too big a role in its users lives to be drowned out by a vast sea of
apps. “Apps aren’t the center of the world,” he says. “People are.” Read More.