Facebook has launched an advertising campaign for its new launcher on Android. The company is trying to showcase that Facebook Home is all about your friends and connecting with them through the ad, which is sort of silly. This is the same ad that was shown off when the new launcher was announced.
The ad doesn’t seem keen on telling you about the various aspects of Facebook Home. We see a guy boarding a flight and flipping through Facebook Home's news feed on an HTC One. Each time he looks at a post, friends and content from that Facebook post are shown to present around him inside the aircraft. The overhead luggage compartments have a couple of his friends lying around looking like they’re sunbathing on a beach, while a couple of singers sing when he looks at a post of a video. We also see a kid's party, people dancing in a club and, of course, cats inside the flight. The guy can't seem to take his hands off the phone when inside the flight, even when the airhostess asks him to switch it off.
We have no clue what Facebook is trying to say here. Should we not put our phones away in a flight when asked to? Are we supposed to be so addicted to Facebook Home that we can’t stop going through our feed? Facebook Home’s first commercial simply made us go “huh?”
Facebook Home was unveiled on April 4 amidst much fanfare and curiosity. The launcher is a replacement for the Android UI and emphasises more on people than on apps. It will be available on only flagship devices at first—HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung GALAXY S III and Samsung GALAXY Note II—and will be on Google Play from April 12. The tablet version of Facebook Home is still under development and will take some time to be launched.
The ad is a tad silly, but shows off the 'people first' mantra of Facebook
On unlocking your device, you will be greeted by the cover feed, which replaces the lock screen and home screen. It basically shows you your Facebook news feed and lets you comment on, or like posts right from there. You can swipe sideways to look at other stories in your feed. Notifications will be sent straight to your home screen, and you can just tap on a notification to check it out, or swipe it away to hide it.
Another major feature of Facebook Home is chat heads. These are tiny circles that let you access a chat from anywhere and signify your friends on Facebook. You can pin people onto your screen and chat with them by clicking on the chat heads. These circles can be accessed from within different apps or even games. You can even move the chat heads around and respond to messages. And since SMS is integrated into Facebook Messenger for Android, the chat head threads will include Facebook messages as well as texts.
Interestingly, the “people first” mantra of Facebook Home hasn’t gone down too well with Microsoft. Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft took to the Microsoft blog to express his disappointment over the launch of “people, not apps” centric Facebook Home. He jokingly wrote in the post, “I tuned into the coverage of the Facebook Home event yesterday and actually had to check my calendar a few times. Not to see if it was still April Fools Day, but to see if it was somehow still 2011.”
Shaw said that the content of the presentation made by Mark Zuckerberg was “remarkably similar” to one made by Microsoft at the launch of Windows Phone two years ago. Whatever the case may be, we’re in for an exciting ride until Facebook Home is finally released to the world on April 12.
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