On Thursday, Facebook announced their long rumoured Facebook Phone – Facebook Home. It is not a handset or a new OS like some suspected but a family of apps that sits on Android and consequentially transforms your Android device into a Facebook Phone. It is called Facebook Home.
Mark Zuckerberg seemed pretty excited when revealing this product; it is certainly the biggest mobile experiment Facebook has done so far and it shows that they are “Mobile First”.
The main idea behind it is that we use phones to interact with people, but our phones are built around the apps. They say: why not flip this idea around and make phones designed around people not apps?
In practice, once you install Facebook Home on your device, your screen will show you high-resolution updates from your friends called Coverfeed. It means you can get updates from your friends without logging into an app or even unlocking your phone.
With tablets and smartphones selling faster than ever before, the percentage of search they account for has inevitably skyrocketed. Google reports mobile traffic is now increasing 139% year on year. Next, we predict, mobile search will push 50% of all web traffic by 2014. Clearly, it’s a phenomenon worth your attention. How to approach it, however, is another matter entirely – though we’re already hot on the case here at Arena Media.
“It’s not a revolution but it’s certainly an improvement.” – Telegraph
“Is it a major step up from the Samsung Galaxy S3? Probably not for many.” – Pocket-lint
”Thank you samsung for launching a galaxy S4 that does not make my S3 look redundant.” – Twitter user
Amid fanfare and by all accounts a bit of a ridiculous presentation ceremony, Samsung launched its newest Galaxy flagship phone last night. The reaction seems to be a bit underwhelming.
The London Underground is a graveyard for civility and human kindness. Catching the eye of a fellow commuter sends tension levels to unmitigated highs, a nudge can turn a West End office worker into a feral beast, and if you haven’t got your Oyster card out by the time you reach the top of the escalator, expect to be deafened by a chorus of tuts. Keep your head down, your headphones in, and your thoughts to yourself.
In a world of engaging and sharing, this hardly seems a natural stomping ground for advertisers, does it?
Now’s a good time to point out that I’m a big fan of OOH. The tube has some good formats – Google’s much-referenced voice search campaign is a testament to this – but there seems to be a challenge for advertisers in actually producing content which is going to drag eyes away from Kindles charting the exploits of Christian Grey or Angry Birds: Zero Dark Thirty or whatever version we’re up to now. Mobile will, inevitably, have a part to play in this. With the expansion of wi-fi services and with plans to eventually install this in train carriages, the advertising experience has to become so much more than a static ad shouting at people who are barely out of bed.
Here’s a brilliant chance for brands to change the face of the tube journey and, in turn, change the course of someone’s day. Challenge set.
MWC is now in full swing and it’s been busy day, with a bit more of an emphasis on marketing and mobile in the conference sessions. Here are my key observations from the day: