Facebook Home

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So Facebook developed and released an Android home- and lockscreen replacement called Facebook Home. After seeing the first hands-on at The Verge, I see three issues.

Android notifications

This is a minor problem but one that’d bug me. The notifications in the Android notification bar seem to stay, even if you answer an incoming message via the chat head. Even the standalone Facebook Messenger app has this issue. If I answer a message from another device, the notification for that message should disappear.

Unlock passcode

Home allows you to easily put content (including likes and comments) on Facebook. This workflow breaks, once some kind of unlock passcode is set up, to keep other people from accessing your phone. Even though it’s not too hard to guess passcodes by looking at fingerprints or just staring at the phone while the owner enters it, they give some protection. Everybody with access to your phone can easily impersonate you in pretty much any written communication. While you should be interested in setting up some kind of protection, Facebook isn’t.

Ads and Content

Facebook needs to make money and hence will at some point start presenting you ads and sponsored stories. Judging from the standalone Facebook app, only the first story is actual content from your friends and even a single swipe will shove an ad in your face. I for one would prefer not to see those on my lockscreen.

Apart from this, The Verge sees another issue: the content your friends post to Facebook. Take a look at your feed – how many of the photos you see in there would you like to be on your lockscreen? My personal quota is ~ 25 % – and that’s photos I wouldn’t mind to see, none of them are really good. Status updates without pictures will show the cover photo, most of them aren’t great either.

I see how Home is good for Facebook and why they developed it. I just don’t see why users would actually want to use it.


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