Facebook Home team seems to be no more

Remember Facebook Home? It was one of the most ambitious projects Facebook has ever done, a way to make Facebook the centre of your Android experience. That didn’t work out too well for them though, and it seems that the team behind the project has been dismantled:

Facebook has long wanted to be a major part of how you use your smartphone. Now, it looks as if the company has all but abandoned one of its major strategies to do so. The company has disbanded the team of engineers originally assigned to work on Facebook Home, its custom-made mobile software for Android devices, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. Released with much fanfare last year, Home was the result of the social giant’s multi-year effort to more deeply integrate Facebook features into an Android smartphone. After downloading and installing the software, for example, Home made it faster to view Facebook photos and send messages to friends directly from the home screen of the phone without needing to rely on Facebook’s popular mobile app to do so. In effect, the Home software transformed a smartphone into a Facebook phone. Shortly after it was released, Home ran into snags. Early adopters rated the software mediocre at best. And six months after the introduction, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the software was hardly the hit he wanted it to be.The New York Times

I think the whole project (plus the introduction of the Facebook Phone by HTC back then) was doomed from the start; the whole idea never caught on with the public. Some ideas did manage to spill to other projects, like the chat heads featured on Facebook Messenger at the moment, but don’t expect an update any time soon. Microsoft’s Windows Phone integrated social services differently and was a much more seamless experience in my opinion, well at least to those people who actually gave the OS a chance.

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