Facebook: What Will They Announce? [POLL]


facebook-logoHere I am in Palo Alto, California less than a mile from Facebook’s Headquarters, eagerly awaiting the mobile announcement they’re making tomorrow. I’m sure you are too, especially since they’ve made it a point to invite Android-focused websites such as yours truly.

Nobody can say for sure what they’ll announce, but let’s poll you Android enthusiasts to see what the mobile loving public thinks is most  likely. Below, I’ll provide some further insight of my own.

[polldaddy poll=4028019]

Here are some of my own thoughts on each:

Facebook Phone
This wouldn’t come completely out of left field, but if the Facebook Phone really WERE being announced than Zuckerberg and company have done an amazing job keeping it under wraps. My pessimism in this potential reality is that Facebook’s competitive advantage isn’t in making hardware, but instead creating software and leveraging social.

This is the same reason I denounced the gPhone. I was at least half wrong since Google announced the Nexus One, but even they have backtracked on this initiative, realizing that hardware isn’t their competitive advantage and neither were two byproducts of that: sales distribution and customer support.

Instead, I think very significant software announcements are more likely.

Improved Facebook Application
Facebook has mobile applications on all the major platforms, but they don’t exactly offer the best user experience. They also aren’t very full featured. I personally see an improved Facebook App as an obvious announcement… but not the only announcement.

I think an “improved app” could also see features that Facebook itself doesn’t offer thus far, incorporating them back into the site. Think of things that Google has tried to announce but fallen a little bit flat on:

  • Facebook version of Google Buzz
  • Facebook version of Google Latitude
  • Facebook version of GTalk
  • Facebook version of Paypal/Google Checkout
  • Facebook version of Twitter – offering “micro status updates” when mobile
  • Facebook version of Google Business Reviews

These are just some random ideas I threw together, but ones I think would be logical from the standpoint of business development and leveraging Facebook’s assets. On the one hand, Facebook could announce these as integrated parts of their improved app or new, standalone applications. Or they could announce…

Facebook OS built on Android
In the above, Facebook would be building new apps and features and offering them for free on as many operating systems as possible. With a “Facebook OS built on Android”, the largest social networking site in the world would leverage Android to create their own spin-off mobile OS.

Think of it like this: what if HTC allowed any manufacturer to use HTC Sense on their phone and call it a “Sense Phone”. What if Motorla worked with partners and allowed them to build “Blur Phones”? This isn’t likely because manufacturers working with their direct competitors in this manner doesn’t seem like it makes a lot of sense… but if FACEBOOK approached HTC, Motorola, etc… and asked them if they would like to leverage a Facebook OS built on Android and pre-load it on their phones?

That makes a little more sense.

Facebook Market
Android Market has it’s pros and cons, but it’s hard to contest the notion that there are a TON of apps and games and it’s not always easy to find what you want let alone find things you didn’t yet know you wanted. People are on Facebook all day – yes, I’m talking to you person at work right now reading this article in a cubicle while you look over your shoulder. Facebook also has apps and games and doohickeys for download, but what if they could unify the experience on a mobile device?

I’m pretty sure Facebook could convince manufacturers/carriers to include a “Facebook Market” on their phone by default. Actually, I don’t think it would take a lot of convincing if it had something unique and awesome to offer. And heck, worst case scenario they could offer it for download in Android Market.

There aren’t a ton of really huge competitors to Android Market in terms of discovering and downloading Android apps, but if Facebook wanted to make a splash here I’m sure they could. The question is, how much will they gain from this in the long run?

If they’re only looking to build value on mobile, I don’t think there is much to gain. If, however, they’re looking to build an iTunes like presence then I think the reverse value it could bring to the desktop, laptop, and other devices could make some sense and start to drive momentum.

Facebook Tools for Mobile Developers
Regardless of what Facebook announces, I feel like this has some level of inevitability. Whether they’re announcing a phone, a better app with new features, completely new features/opportunites, a Facebook OS built on Android, Facebook Market or something else, they’ll want 3rd parties to extend the capabilities of their device.

Something Else
Leave your own thoughts, comments, guesses and possibilities in the comments!

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Snape kills Dunbledore!

  2. Native integration in Gingerbread.

  3. It is interesting to know that they are inviting android websites. The idea of a facebook phone sounds stupid to me so hopefully a new and improved app and maybe some new stuff for app developers to use to connect to facebook.

  4. An app that works on android, I mean is actually usable. Otherwise the whole event is a failure.

  5. Better be a facebook app… the one we have now… more then half the things just open a browser… its rather fail.

    Of course the iphone one is beatutiful, but I suppose that’s for the name… Everyone thinks iphones are cool just because its a “iPhone”

  6. No no… there going to announce a new and inproved iphone app. Just to make all the android commuitys mad :D

  7. Ohhh noes…. spoilers!!!…..

    In all seriousness hope yhe Android Facebook app gets some more polish, chat and all the other snazzy stuff the iPhone app can do ( and hopefully a little more please, just to annoy the appleites )

  8. I personally like the sounds of Facebook UI but imagine how horrible that would be because Facebook is about simplicity! Simplicity isn’t exactly cool for mobile OS.

    Facebook Market would be huge and preferred in my opinion.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a facebook phone but I see the same problem as Facebook UI they are too simple.

  9. It better be a real damn app!! Even facebook touch is a fail!

  10. Improved android app for sure…

  11. @2FR35H “Simplicity isn’t exactly cool for mobile OS.” Umm thats exactly what helps the iphone so popular..Any one can use it! Its just pages and pages of Icons and you click on them…. It’s Nothing…I Hate IT! So The masses love Simplicity… also women love simplicity…more women use iphones than android phones…

  12. Give us an App thats cool to use and so I don’t have to use the all the time. The only reason my phone even has the Facebook app installed is so that I can upload photos immediately after I take them on my Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant which takes AWSOME pictures.

  13. cant say for sure, but since they are calling android fans site etc, must be some sort of deep integration with android, like a killer contacts app

  14. I have it on good authority that they’re going to announce new and improved pedophile tools, some feature called “NarcissistMAX” and, a better backbone besides a massively cached MySQL database.

  15. They better update this freakin android app before they do anything

  16. @J

    But you see iPhone’s OS isn’t top favored OS “android” is and its definitely more complicated than iOS in its UI. so… really is simplicity really preferred?

    I also see alot of women with Androids. More so than women with iPhones.

    The masses love the ‘quality’ of the iPhone not necessarily the OS in itself even if apple allowed iOS to be licensed out and other manufacturers took part in its use it still wouldn’t be as popular as Android. Most likely they would only pull previous iPhone adopters.

    In the OS war Android clearly wins. People just like apple for the name and popularity. I guarantee that if the iPhone was unbranded it would have been dead awhile ago. Simplicity is BORING but in the same right too much complication is a pain.

  17. Damnit I lost the game!

  18. Hopefully they will announce that they will no be on my next rom.

  19. Improved app FTW.

    Or a tablet… the Face Tab.

    Or better yet, a netbook. The “Face… Book…”


  20. I’m with Jimmy, get their stuff off of my phone! I have real friends that I talk to in real life. Chances are, if I don’t talk to some I used to know, I don’t really want to talk to them. I find it interesting that there’s a push by some people to get themselves untangled from Facebook and that groups that try to provide means to do so get roadblocked by Facebook. Google might be Skynet but Facebook is the Matrix.

  21. Facebook wouldn’t call a press conference to announce that their Android app is finally half way decent. No, if there is an improved app it will be announced along with something else. Like mentioned, I think facebook is going to make their app market available on mobile. Think games like FarmVille available on your mobile Facebook now. Perhaps they won’t even update the app and instead provide a good HTML5 experience instead.

  22. The Facebook app sucks IMHO. Slow, slow, slow! I use the touch browser version as it’s much faster and does almost everything better. When I need more, I just use the full Facebook page. They should fix the app before they do anything else.

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