Facebook Home: Marketing opportunities and drawbacks
By Jessica Reed
As you may have heard, Facebook Home will launch on Android devices this Friday, April 12.
This is not an app or a separate mobile phone – it is software. To fully understand it, watch this video on TechCrunch (start at 0:20).
Without having to open anything, a single image from a friend or page fills your entire screen. You cannot choose your lock or home screen image anymore – it is your “Cover Feed” based on Facebook updates. You can swipe to see the next image.
Notifications are immediately up, which you can swipe down. You have to tap to access your other applications (browser, Twitter, etc. ). Additionally, it allows users to message, instant chat (called “chat heads”), email and even do free VOIP calls through Home and keeps all of those interactions together per person – so you don’t have to open your separate SMS app and Facebook chat app.
- HTC First will be first phone preloaded with it (through AT&T) available Friday
- HTC One (Future)
- HTC One X
- HTC One X+
- Samsung GALAXY S III
- Samsung GALAXY S4 (Future)
- Samsung GALAXY Note II
Marketing opportunities: (not a lot… yet)
- Sharing great visuals could lead to a more prominent display on a user’s phone, if it becomes part of their Cover Feed
- Advertising (privacy settings permitted) will become more targeted. Although Facebook followed-up the announcement with details on privacy, Home will have access to more specific location data, details on which applications a user opens and uses, etc.
- Visuals are key – although they’ve been important, the image is now even more crucial to getting engagement. For clients with less budget or options in this area, it’s going to be a tough challenge to be visible in the Cover Feed.
- Getting users to come visit the brand pages may be more difficult.
- There is no or limited Search functionality within Home – so, for example, users would have to open the Facebook app to search for a brand page to like it.
- It’s not going to be on Apple iPhone or iPad anytime soon – or ever… so you will have to weigh catering to the “Home” experience for the potential ~25Million users (750Million Android users but consider those who use Facebook currently, have/will have the newer device that it can work on, etc)
Marketers shouldn’t focus on specifically trying to get on a person’s “Home” feed, but more focus on creating good engaging content across Facebook, which will naturally find its way on the “Home” feed.” What marketing implications do you see with Facebook Home?
-Jessica Reed is an Emerging Media Strategist at Zócalo Group. Follow her on Twitter at @jessicareed09. Zócalo Group is an award-winning word-of-mouth, social and digital marketing agency focused on one thing: To help our clients become the most talked about, recommended and chosen brands in their category.