On Thursday Facebook launched Facebook Home, an app that brings Facebook functions onto the home screen of Android phones, which essentially turns any Android phone into a Facebook phone. Home’s deep integration with the Android OS essentially makes the Newsfeed a constant part of your home screen (they call it Coverfeed), and it also means that people no longer have to hop in out of the Facebook app to message friends. Despite being a brilliant marketing play by Facebook, this Android takeover strategy could present a ton of new opportunities for brands and marketers.
More targeted Facebook ads?
Privacy issues aside—and Home is full of them. If widely adopted, Facebook Home could provide a huge influx of mobile data as use of the social network increases. This new source of data could help refine targeting of both mobile and desktop served ads to fish-in-a-barrel levels.
Or just more Facebook ads?
More use means more ads served up, and if Facebook starts weaving ads into Home’s Cover Feed, it could be a lot more ads. Imagine if every time people checked the time on their phone (with Home streaming Facebook content onto the locked screen), they saw an ad. Annoying? Definitely. The future? Potentially.
Will branded environments on our phones become the new apps?
To me, this is the most exciting aspect of Home. Depending on the success of Home, we could see other major brands developing their own custom environments that cater to their users’ interests. A phone with Nike plus and fuel information available on the home screen instead of hidden behind an app, for example. An NFL environment with scores, schedules and standings right on the home screen. The possibilities are endless, and I’m excited to see all the new creative executions from major brands that could come out of this.
Let us know what you think. Brand owned phone environments: Bold new direction or bust?