Facebook has announced the launch of its first Android powered mobile phone.
The social network giant has teamed up with HTC to make its first steps into the world of physical handsets, although in truth the announcement focussed more on the group of apps called ‘Home’ it has created – with the new HTC smartphone the first to come with the software preloaded onto the device.
With the firm previously releasing Graph Search and tweaking its News Feed to suit mobile devices better, this move makes the next logical step – finally putting to an end to the endless rumours such a device would be made.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, said he hoped through the launch of the new app the social networking site would take centre stage on many people’s handsets.
Zuckerburg said: “Today we are finally going to talk about that Facebook phone, or more accurately, we are going to talk about how you can turn your Android phone into a great social phone.
“We are not building a phone and we are not building an operating system but we are building something that is a whole lot deeper than an ordinary app.”
The Home feature works by putting Facebook feeds from the social network onto the home page of Android phone users.
With Wall Street still pressuring the social network giant to show what it can do when it comes to the nitty-gritty of making money, the revenue it can generate from firms using it for social media marketing, or more specifically mobile ads, could go some way to alleviating those concerns. In fact, eMarketer predicts Facebook will account for 13.2% of mobile ad revenues in the US this year.
With Facebook itself reporting more than 680 million of its users regularly check the social networking site on their mobile device, there is certainly potential for it to generate more money through mobile ads.
Certainly platforms such as Twitter have proved immensely successful when it comes to mobile ads with a recent eMarketer study predicting the microblogging site would make next year – with more than 60% of that driven by mobile ads.
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