Facebook Home: Making Facebook the Centre of your Smartphone Experience

Facebook announced Facebook Home on Thursday, 4 April 2013. It is an app to replace your mobile home screen for Android-based phones. Just power on, and you’re already connected to your friends and family through the Facebook cover feed.

How to Get Facebook Home

Facebook Home is available since Friday, 12 April 2013, in Google Play Store but only for selected devices, such as the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Note 2. Facebook Home will also be supported on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 when those phones are released. Facebook Home integration with Apple’s iOS is still in the talks.

To gain access to Facebook Home, you need the most recent version of the Facebook app and the Facebook Home app installed on your phone. Also, there is a function called Chat Heads, which requires you to have Facebook Messenger installed.

What is the Facebook Home Experience?

Facebook Home is about making Facebook the centre for your smartphone experience.  This is an interesting innovation because currently our smarphones are centred around our applications, but Facebook Home offers a smartphone experience centred around the people in our life (or, technically, Facebook connections).

In Facebook Home, your profile picture is positioned as an icon at the centre-bottom of the screen, and you can move this to command the phone. Move your picture up to open your app menu; move your picture to the right to open your most recent app, and move your picture to the left to open Facebook messenger. Here are some additional key points about Facebook Home:

  • Cover Feed: The cover feed dominates the phone’s screen and will rotate your friends’ status updates. You can directly rotate these updates by swiping your finger across them.
  • Notifications: Facebook notifications will appear in the centre of your screen when you’re not engaging with Facebook Home. Examples of notifications include someone commenting on one of your photos in Facebook or Liking one of your status update.
  • Accessing Your Phone’s Apps: All your other programs can still be accessed through the Facebook App launcher. It can be accessed via the dashboard while you’re still on your cover feed.
  • Chat Head: Facebook chat (or Facebook messenger) is now called Chat Head. It allows you to chat on your cover feed via a dashboard on top so you don’t have to switch between programs anymore.
  • Likes and comments: To Like an image, you just need to double tap on the centre of an image. If you single tap the cover feed, this will pop-up a tool bar for you to further engage the Facebook status update, whether that is tapping the thumb’s up button to Like it or tapping the chat bubble to post a comment.

What’s Next

Facebook Home is A leap towards making Facebook the centre of your mobile phone experience. Facebook Home is curiously listed under the platform section below Android on the HTC First specifications page. Could it mean that their next step will be towards building their very own mobile operating system?

You can watch a video below from Facebook introducing Facebook Home:

Have you used Facebook? Share your thoughts by posting comments below. No registration is required.

Photo Screenshot Credit: theofficialfacebook / YouTube 

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