By Michael Liedtke and Barbara Ortutay
MENLO PARK, California (AP) – With its new “Home” on Android gadgets, Facebook is trying to prove that a company doesn’t have to make a smartphone or operating system to define how people interact with mobile technology. The audacious move will provide further insights into how pervasive Facebook has become, testing whether people want to be greeted with content from the social network every time they look at their phones.
When people start downloading the Home software upon its release in the U.S., Facebook will become the new hub of their Android smartphones.
Switch on your phone and you’ll see friends’ photos, overlaid by status updates, links and eventually, advertisements in Facebook’s quest to bring in more revenue and restore its stock price to where it stood when the company went public nearly 11 months ago.
About 80 percent of what currently appears within a Facebook user’s News Feed will automatically be transferred into the “cover feed” of the Home service. For instance, a sibling’s status update might be featured prominently on the phone’s home screen when it’s unlocked. Swipe a finger and there might be a photo posted by one of your best friends. Want to like what you see? Just tap on the home screen twice.
Comments can be posted directly from the home screen, too.
If other friends happen to send you a message, their Facebook photo will pop up as a notification.
Other Facebook features, such as video, will be added to Home in future months. A Home version for Android-powered tablet computers also will be coming later this year.
Once they have had their fill of what Facebook is feeding them on the Home service, users can just swipe a finger on the screen to get to all the standard Android apps to listen to music, watch videos or send email.1 2 3 4 next >>