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Facebook Home — Unimpressive Debut

Facebook HomeFacebook Home – Poor Ratings Reported

Facebook Home has just 3,811 reviews on Google Play following its release this past Friday, April 12.  Of these reviews 1,138, or 47% rated Facebook only 1-star out of 5.

By Saturday evening, reviewers on Google Play had given Facebook Home an average 2.5-stars.  And, by Sunday evening, Facebook Home’s average rating was holding steady at 2.4-stars. This could indicate users were generally satisfied with Facebook’s new offering, except for the fact that nearly 50% of the reviewers gave Facebook Home only 1-star.

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Below are two charts which show Facebook Home User Reviews for the first weekend following its availability on Google Play:

Facebook Home – Number of Downloads and User Ratings, Saturday April 13 Facebook Home – Number of Downloads and User Ratings, Sunday April 14

Facebook   Android Apps on Google Play

What a difference a day makes – well, not really in this case.  Honestly, not much has changed over the first weekend Facebook Home has been available for download from Google Play.  One factor contributing to the dearth of Facebook Home downloads is the fact that Facebook has limited the availability for download to 4 specific smartphones on the market.  This might be part of a plan to slowly let the cat out of the bag and deal with potential problems early on, rather than wait until after Facebook Home is available ubiquitously.

Many user reviews mentioned how much of an immersive experience Facebook Home is, and how much control Facebook takes over your phone. Some user reviews mentioned they want the ability to use their own wallpaper, and have access to traditional Android widgets.

Now that Facebook Home has been unleashed, perhaps we should ask ourselves a few questions:

  • Is this merely a test phase for Facebook to get a feel for how far they can push the Facebook experience onto users?
  • Might we down the road be seeing Facebook develop their own tweaked version of Android like Samsung & HTC have done, or even a forked version of Android similar to what Amazon has chosen to do?
  • What, if anything, will Google do as it sees its Android Operating System splinter even further, and potentially bleed big-time advertising revenue to the likes of Facebook?

About Gary Reiner

thinking, reading, and writing about whatever's going on in the world...

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