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Will Facebook Home Become An Ad Platform And Lead To A War With Google?

By | Friday April 5, 2013 @ 9:34am PDT

These are among investors’ top concerns following Facebook’s unveiling yesterday of its Facebook Home smartphone super-app, which will put its services front and center on Google‘s Android operating system. It’s an important initiative for Facebook. Many on Wall Street fear that the social network company is caught in a dilemma: It needs to sell ads, but will turn off lots of smartphone and tablet users if it clutters their small screens with sales pitches. That’s why Sterne Agee’s Arvind Bhatia says that early versions of Facebook Home will be ad-free, but “over time the ‘Home’-based home screen will start to display very relevant, targeted, slightly larger, and visually appealing ads –all positive for ad rates.” If that happens then “Facebook Home will be a lot less appealing to consumers,” BTIG’s Rich Greenfield says. Even without the ads, he wonders whether many users want their news feeds prominently displayed on their home screens noting that “always on pictures from what you/your friends/your family did last night could be a wee bit embarrassing when you turn on your phone next to someone.” He and others also want to see whether Google will see Facebook Home as a threat. Read More »

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Facebook Intros Android Smartphone Makeover

By | Thursday April 4, 2013 @ 1:28pm PDT

David Bloom is a contributor to Deadline Hollywood

The software-only adaptation will “turn your Android phone into a great social device,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says during an event today’s at the company’s HQ. Facebook Home transforms the look and feel of the operating system. For example, it enables the lock screen to display updates from Facebook friends as they come in. The software also allows people to send and receive texts while using other phone functions. Home will be available for free beginning April 12 through the Google Play online app store. It initially will work on five top-end smartphones from HTC and Samsung. Each month thereafter, Facebook plans to expand Home compatibility to additional phones. HTC also announced the HTC First, a Facebook Home-optimized smartphone for the AT&T network that will be available April 12 for $99.99.  Zuckerberg, who took no questions during today’s announcement, didn’t say whether Facebook will adapt its software for Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry phones. Samsung, the biggest Android smartphone maker, recently debuted its latest flagship, the Galaxy S4, which is among the first five models that will be compatible with Facebook Home. Facebook shares jumped 2.8% to about $27 in afternoon trading. Google shares dropped about 1.6% to Read More »

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