Matt Drance at Apple Outsider has the smartest take I have read yet on Facebook home. It seems that the Apple Google war — or IOS vs Android — just got a brand new combatant.

Here’s Drance:

You’ve built an enormous business around a desktop website. Unfortunately, people around the world are spending more and more time on mobile devices. The vast majority of these devices run software from only two companies. One of these companies is actively competing with you.

You cannot put your future in a competitor’s hands. So what do you do? Do you enter uncharted territory, make your own mobile operating system, and hope people switch?

Of course not. You make your competitor’s system yours — overnight. Facebook Home is a trojan horse designed to steal the Android experience, and the Android user base, right out of Google’s hands. The majority of speculation over the last year or two had been that Facebook was working on its own mobile OS.

Discuss . . .


Category: Corporate Management, Technology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

9 Responses to “Facebook Home = Trojan Horse”

  1. dsimmons says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I think facebook Home is snaking some of the user experience. It’s also the front experience which counts for something. But, FaceBook is one product, two if you count it as a social gaming platform. In the G+ vs FB social media battle, score a victory for FB. In the FB vs Google, they are not competing on search or email or any of the other services. When FB gets in Android and provides more than a 1.5 trick pony, then FB will have scored a major victory. Also, if you don’t use FB, it’s a non-starter. So, exactly which portion of the social user base is being effected??? Consumers can get their FB and all the other Google services.

    In 9+ years, FB hasn’t expanded beyond social (@facebook emails do not count for squat). Why should I think they would infringe on the totality of the Android experience in the near future… or any time for that matter.

  2. mpetrosian says:

    Not buying it. think of what capabilities you already have with the current Facebook app if you allow all alerts and notification, etc. what’s the difference?

  3. Herman Frank says:

    Wonderful, true, “human ingenuity”, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!” (Oscar Wilde). And then what ….. ? In the social events of the hip-hop crowd at large about 99% won’t notice, care or be concerned one way or the other. It’s a techie-thing. The financial market has “demanded” that FB be integrated with mobile platforms “you’re going to miss the mobile wave!!” Blah-blah-blah. It’s only a tool!

    Now let’s see in the next 2 quarters whether it actually helps the advertisement income bottom-line of FB.

    Then we’ll also be able to see what the acceptance level and actual use (clicks) of users of the FB-Home is.

    THEN we make an evaluation on what it MIGHT mean for Android. Till then it’s only ooh-nd-aah techie-talk.

  4. Frilton Miedman says:

    After finding a special app (thanks to TBP) to remove F-book supercookies from my PC that track my online activity even when I’m not on F-book, I think I’ll forgo an operating system that potentially tracks my Phone calls, texts, Emails and physical location thankyouverymuch.

  5. a2ricedgti says:

    I think it will sell well among a very select group of people…non-iPhone heavy Facebook users who do little else with their phone. It has a good price point but it is low enough to imply it wont be a particularly nice phone in terms of hardware. It probably won’t bring anyone new into Facebook, or even mobile facebooking.

    Also, given that we are talking about Facebook here, there will inevitably be some horrible privacy blunder. If I had to guess I would also speculate the phone will not keep up with google updates and quickly feel dated compared to newer offerings.

  6. [...] Facebook Home = Trojan Horse (The Big Picture) [...]

  7. hondje says:

    Personally I think Google is actually weakest on the Search front. As time goes on I find their results to be less and less useful, meanwhile competitors are springing up where they wouldn’t have before (including Facebook’s new search) especially for the deep web. Completely anecdotal but the other day I was trying to find an old joke I heard on usenet, the top 4 results went to shitty sites (full of flash and java craziness), so on a whim I went to a different search engine and the top result was a forum post from an old phpbb. Much more satisfying… meanwhile the smart kids on Freenode and HN etc are going through a ‘try different engines’ phase, which suggests to me that someone is going to fill that need if Google keeps sleeping on it. /disjointedrant

  8. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    From what I read about Facebook home, it is a start-page type of app, i.e., you run Facebook Home, and then any other app you run is run from within Facebook home.

    Facebook Home does not look at all like an OS to me, it looks like a data collection system. Anything you do with you smartphone is now a child-process of Facebook Home, with all the data reaping capabilities that provides.

    Frankly, I find Facebook Home even more intrusive than the e-book publishers collecting page by page reading data on the people who read their books.

  9. Alan H. says:

    It will be very interesting to see what happens with Facebook phone. The major players in high tech are all trying to create dominant all-encompassing platforms that lock people in with overwhelming network effects, and they’re hopping into each others’ markets to varying degrees to do so. Mobile is the next great frontier to be conquered, as people migrate their compute usage to their phones and increase their reliance on the internet. Industry analysts are already declaring the desktop/laptop to be dead. Many see a small handful (maybe 5?) high tech players emerging with dominant platform plays across all spaces. If you believe this hypothesis, then Facebook MUST play in the mobile space, so Facebook Home is inevitable and, if anything, late to the party.

    I think that people’s communication habits are not yet done changing. Initially, I refused to use Facebook’s private messaging function, but now I use it regularly. Some friends tell me to not contact them by email, but instead by Facebook. We’re all 30 years old — so we’re a bit of slower adopters than college kids and fresh college grads. Facebook is afraid of becoming irrelevant with the rise of new messaging platforms like WhatsApp and MessageMe, so having a phone SMS play will be a massive win for them.

    With regard to time frame of its relevance, I think it will take years to see how Facebook emerges. Another commenter mentioned viewing Facebook’s 2-quarter advertising revenue bump as a success metric, which I think is too short of a time frame to judge success. Google bought Android in 2005, and it didn’t become relevant until around 2008-2010, for instance.

    As far as Android being co-opted by Google’s competitors, Android is an open source mobile platform that is owned by Google but not entirely controlled by Google. I disagree with Drance in his (implicit) suggestion that Facebook is the first Google competitor to co-opt Android – it definitely isn’t. Amazon has forked Android code base for the Kindle Fire, Samsung is supposedly planning to fork the code base for its Galaxy mobile phones and tablets. I do completely agree with Drance’s statement that you shouldn’t leave your fortunes in the hands of competitors. Google has done this often. When free use on the internet was threatened by lawsuits against YouTube, they bought YouTube and paid for those lawsuits. As net neutrality in the US is being threatened by the cable co oligopoly, Google is launching their own broadband service. Facebook Home is a logical move in this line of thinking.

    As for its future, I think Facebook Home will definitely have a long-term place in the mobile computing space, and is the right/inevitable move for them. The more interesting question to me is whether any Google competitor will displace Google’s version of Android as the dominant one with a forked version, and how the broader Android ecosystem evolves.