It’s pretty fascinating that Facebook and Google debuted new messaging paradigms within six weeks of each other. Facebook Home’s one key feature is the prominent placement of its “chat heads” messaging alerts on the home screen. Google is launching a new messaging app particularly focused on group messaging. The debuts of these two initiatives fit within the same timeline: a sudden realization in 2012 that smartphone messaging had started evolving, followed by the feverish development of a new product that would finally launch in the spring of 2013. Facebook and Google are very much on the defense here. So what happened in 2012 that suddenly awakened these slumbering giants? More →
College graduates would love to land a job at Google, Apple or one of the many startups in Silicon Valley. But according to a survey from Universum Global, there are quite a few students who would prefer the rainy days in Washington over working in the golden state. The American Student Survey asked students from five different fields of study — business, engineering, IT, natural sciences and liberal arts — about their ideal company to work for. Companies such as Google and Apple unsurprisingly topped the charts in almost all categories, however there were some surprising results: Microsoft consistently outranked both Facebook and Amazon. The company ranked higher than Amazon in all fields of study and even higher than Apple in IT. Students found Microsoft more appealing than Facebook in almost all categories as well, with the exception of liberal arts.
Facebook’s bid to buy social navigation company Waze has seemingly hit a serious snag that has stalled the deal for the time being. Calcalist, the Israeli newspaper that first broke news of Facebook’s plans to acquire Waze, has followed up its original report with news that the two companies are having problems coming to terms in a few key areas. More →
The HTC First, or “Facebook phone” as many prefer to call it, is officially a flop. It certainly wasn’t a good sign when AT&T dropped the price of HTC’s First to $0.99 just one month after its debut, and now BGR has confirmed that HTC and Facebook’s little experiment is nearing its end. BGR has learned from a trusted source that sales of the HTC First have been shockingly bad. So bad, in fact, that AT&T has already decided to discontinue the phone. More →
Facebook Home gave the world its first glimpse at the future of Facebook’s mobile strategy, and it shows a huge amount of promise. The flood of poor reviews from early adopters showed that Facebook still has a lot of work to do to tweak the software, however. According to a new report, part of the reason so many Android users disliked the first version of Facebook Home is because not everyone on the team behind the new Android software was well-suited to build Home. More →
It’s difficult to tell whether Facebook Home has been successful or not since it has been downloaded more than 1 million times so far but has also been bombed with negative reviews that could mean it has a short shelf life. Technology Review reports that Facebook is acknowledging that its first attempt at creating its own Android overlay has some flaws and it is vowing to fix them in future releases. More →
Is Facebook doing its homework? We trust that Facebook is analyzing usage stats when deciding which handsets to address with its Home rollout, but it seems odd that Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, which both became supported by Home on Friday, would be high on the list of devices used by hardcore Facebook addicts — the ones Home is likely best suited for. Home is an immersive software suite that takes over an Android phone’s home screen and app launcher, replacing them with a river of Facebook photos and a new launcher that provides quick access to various Facebook features. Could a Facebook takeover possibly be something the average Galaxy S4 or HTC One user is looking for? More →
With Nokia’s share of handset sales in emerging markets under assault, the company may have an unlikely white knight come to its rescue: Facebook. No, Facebook isn’t planning to release a version of Facebook Home for Lumia models anytime soon but Quartz’s Leo Mirani explains that Facebook is bringing some features to Nokia’s $99 line of new Asha phones that could make them very attractive to first-time handset buyers. In particular, Mirani says that the new Asha 501 comes with “free data for Facebook if consumers use one of the wireless carriers that have agreed” to provide it. More →
The Facebook-centric HTC First may be little more than a month old but that hasn’t stopped some analysts from already writing its obituary. Benzinga points us to new research from Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry, who estimates that the HTC First sold less than 10,000 units in its first three days of availability and who says the smartphone is “pretty much dead” despite its short time on the market. Facebook and HTC announced the First in April as a device to showcase Facebook’s new Facebook Home overlay for Android that essentially takes over Android home screens and replaces them with Facebook content. More →
Following Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of popular photo-sharing service Instagram, the company is reportedly now considering another billion-dollar deal. According to Israel-based newspaper Calcalist, Facebook is in the late stages of acquisition talks with Israeli social navigation service Waze and the deal could be worth between $800 million and $1 billion. The talks reportedly began six months ago and due diligence is now underway. TechCrunch previously reported that Apple was in talks to acquire Waze, but then later debunked its own report in a subsequent post.
HTC’s “First” smartphone received mixed reviews from critics when it was released last month. The handset received praise for its affordable price — $99 with a new two-year agreement — and critics liked its decent internal hardware as well as the fact that it was running a nearly stock version of Android. Reviewers were less enthusiastic about the device’s rear camera and integrated Facebook Home software, however. BGR noted in a review last month that while Facebook Home is appealing for the frequent social network user, it is still a long way off from being a finished product. But despite the sizeable advertising budget, sales of the HTC First appear to be off to a slow start. AT&T this week slashed the price of the smartphone from $99 to $0.99 with a new two-year agreement and reduced the off-contract price from $450 to $350. Although no sales data has been released, the recent price cut suggests that Facebook may be in the midst of its First big mobile flop.
Facebook Home has its fair share of critics. But while I personally can’t stand Facebook as a service, I am not one of them. Home takes over the user’s Android smartphone and replaces the home screen with an unending stream of full-screen Facebook photos and status updates posted by friends. The first version of Facebook’s new Android software clearly has some kinks that need to be ironed out, but Facebook has more incentive than it could ever need to get the job done. More →
Facebook is now firmly entrenched as a mobile company, with 30% of total advertising revenue coming from mobile. Mobile is the key front for Facebook now and for the foreseeable future, as users continue to spend the majority of their time on phones and tablets. Mobile monthly active users (MAU) grew to 751 million in the first quarter, with total daily active users (DAUs) reaching 1.1 billion. UBS analyst Eric Sheridan noted that mobile advertising revenue was above his estimates at $374 million, and he expects to see continued growth as more users, and more ads go online. More →