When Will It Be Time To Go “Home?”

Who has taken the Facebook Home plunge since its grand induction into the Android device reality on April 12th?  If you’re asking yourself what exactly is Facebook Home, look no further.   It’s basically the next wave of technology to make your lock screen a giant scrolling newsfeed from your favorite social media site, Facebook.  Messages, IM chat, videos, pictures, and the latest and greatest news posts can all be found at the touch of your home screen. If you’re looking for an app on your phone to download, you won’t find it just yet.  This new technology comes in the form of a software package at this stage.  Such devices as the HTC First will be the first to come preloaded with the Facebook Home software, while others in the HTC series and later Samsung models (Samsung GALAXY S III, S4, and Note II), will have downloading capabilities from the Google Play Store.

facebook-homeSo what benefits can Home have besides just looking cool and being able to post your friends’ latest and greatest news feeds?

  • Facebook Home could become the next powerful marketing tool for companies.  The software will be able to store user information, including which applications a user opens, etc., and appeal to a specific target audience.
  • The software has the potential for great visuals to be shared, although visuals appearing from your friends and family probably aren’t the most fascinating.
  • Privacy settings will be the same as the regular Facebook app that you are now familiar with using.  Thus, if you wish to hide something, that particular information will not appear on your cover screen.
  • Programmers are updating Facebook Home at least once a month.  Things that are recognized as bugs today will soon be issues of the past.

Drawbacks can be concerning as well, and include the following:

  • One of the biggest drawbacks is that this is a newsfeed of your Facebook friends.  That usually includes a vast assortment of close and not-so-close friends and family, right?  Your only news feed options become those of viewing silly photos, self portraits, cute puppies, and occasionally something of importance, but mostly not.  Actual breaking news will not be coming through on your newsfeed, although we have seen that all “worldly” news somehow seems to break on Facebook at the same time CNN covers it.  The good news is that Facebook has recognized that the filter issue is a problem (you can’t select which updates you’d rather be seeing) and is currently working on better resolutions.  One easy piece of advice on this would be that maybe it’s time to finally delete those friends that you’ve thought really never had anything of importance to say, or just the opposite, say too much.
  • There is no screen lock for pre-installed Facebook Home, but you do have the option to disable the software to secure your privacy.
  • Limited search functions.  This means that you would have to still log into the regular Facebook application to search for a particular page/brand.
  • Not available to iPhones at this time or anytime in the near future.  This speaks for itself as it will exclude a very large target audience.
  • It’s a new service.  “New” means “change” to most of us, which leads to apprehension and negativity.  Also, with the first wave of software, there are usually bugs to still be worked out.

All in all, for those of us who have been addicted to Facebook, Facebook Home will probably be the next great thing.  It’s fun to use, it’s simple, and like everything else, if you aren’t doing it soon, you’ll be in the minority.  I do wonder how soon iPhone will join the Android race and I also wonder how soon Facebook will just go away altogether in the application world.  For now, for those of you that have it, I’d love to hear your feedback.  Do you love it, hate it, have you already disabled it?  Your feedback might help the rest of us decide just when it is time to “Go Home.”