As the social networking site with the most users by far – over 1 billion – Facebook has been springing forward to trail-blaze the next big move. With over 600 million of their users accessing the site through their mobile device, the launch of “Home” android app/operating system came as no surprise. The idea behind Home is to develop an ecosystem that puts people before apps – putting your newsfeed on your home screen so you see status updates rather than apps. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presented Home as the “best version of Facebook there is.”
Facebook and HTC partnered to launch the first phone to have Home pre-loaded onto it, appropriately called the HTC First. The phone went on sale for $99 with a two-year contract through AT&T last month. Just last week, the HTC First dropped to the price of $0.99 and today, AT&T announced their decision to officially discontinue the phone. However, this does not mean the death of Home just yet.
Facebook VP Cory Ondrejka states, “Home is the first product we’ve released that’s really about ‘mobile-best’ and the transition beyond ‘mobile first.’” Facebook’s making their mobile intentions known and are going all out in their efforts. Perhaps Home is not revolutionizing the mobile experience just yet, but it has boosted “the number of daily comments and likes someone leaves on the news feed by 25%.” For a social networking site with over 1 billion users, 25% more activity is no small feat.
In fact, Home hit 1 million downloads just yesterday according to the Google Play store.
What are the features of Facebook Home?
Cover Feed: Streams of posts from your NewsFeed are right on your home screen. Whatever your friends are sharing at the moment is what you see. You can also set up notifications that will pop up on your screen, reminding you of events, calls, app updates, etc.
Chat Heads: Just like Facebook Messenger, Chat Heads allows you to keep the conversation going even if you are using other apps. All your conversations are in one place and you can chat from anywhere on your phone.
App Launcher: To access the apps you want, you can set up the app launcher with your essential apps.
What does this shift from online to mobile mean for businesses?
Now more than ever, the focus of your content should be image heavy. On Facebook, photos and videos are far more successful at garnering engagement – likes, comments, shares – than plain text and links. Facebook is a visual economy, and the focus on mobile only intensifies the importance of images. Mobile users are far less likely to read text-heavy posts in transit and Facebook’s algorithm is more optimized to keep people on the platform rather than linking off.
The move to integrate social networking with tech devices seems to be the move. Just think of Google Glass or the Apple iWatch. The next big thing seems to be to engage individuals beyond their computers – on-the-go, all-day every day – whether it be in their hands, on their face, or on their arm. To keep up with the growing trend of constant connection, businesses should be sure to be more visual in their social media marketing efforts.
What do you think of the move to mobile and wearable tech? How will marketing change with increased levels of consumer engagement?