Facebook Home was released this weekend for a select few Android devices, and reviews have been decidedly negative. The app is designed to replace the default home screen on Android devices with a Facebook home screen. This is meant to make using Facebook not only easier, but smoother and more immersive.
Cover Feed turns the lock screen into a new feed that gives you updates on what your friends are doing without you having to unlock the phone. Also, one of Home’s coolest features is the Chat Heads. Conversations with people through SMS or Facebook Messenger are marked by floating bubbles with their faces on them.
Reviews for how the interface works with Facebook have been somewhat mixed but more positive than not. Reviews for how the interface works with other, non-Facebook apps, however, have been very negative. Home lessens the amount of customization users have and makes it exceedingly difficult to use apps and widgets. The way it seems to take over your phone has made many people upset, as shown by the numerous one-star reviews it has on Google Play.
Something that has always been dangerous about Facebook is that, once you’re on it, you’re stuck. You can usually avoid wasting hours of your time perusing various posts and pages by only checking up on Facebook every now and then. However, with Home installed, avoiding Facebook is impossible.
While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it opens a few doors. How long do you think it’ll be before Facebook starts adding advertisements to Home? A lot of people would be upset but this is Facebook we’re talking about. All it takes is a few months of conditioning and suddenly everyone is used to the ads.
What about privacy? Facebook isn’t exactly known for its respect for privacy. It already gathers tons of information on you through the website and the apps. How much more information will it gather now that it pretty much takes over your phone.