Facebook Home lands on Android

Facebook Home lands on Android
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

April 5th 2013 at 12:10PM

New Android user interface will help improve app discoverability, says social network

Facebook Home has been launched on Android as the company looks to bring the social network to the forefront of the smartphone experience.

The user interface, which can be downloaded from Google Play as of April 12th, changes the main mobile home and lock screens into a news feed for status updates, effectively turning all Android devices into a Facebook mobile.

A new Chat Heads feature meanwhile has been implemented to allow users to continue talking when playing apps, as Facebook looks to increase the social experience of playing games.

The OS will also use a special favourite apps launcher, which users must swipe the screen to access, similar the traditional system used on iOS and most Android smartphones.

Facebook said it had created Home to make friends, rather than apps, the focus of the smartphone experience.

The social networking giant however has said that Home will help developers promote their games to a wider audience and improve discoverability for apps.

It said that the site will now delivery “bigger, bolder notifications” from apps to the phone’s home screen, while users can now also access apps referenced in their news feeds immediately.

Home could potentially have significant ramifications for the discoverability of mobile apps through Facebook, as in its current form the social network drove 263 million clicks to the App Store and Google Play through its mobile news feed in February.

With better integration into core mobile usage, this could help drive yet more users to apps recommended by friends or advertised on Facebook.