I’ve been skeptical of a Facebook phone launch since the moment I first heard of the idea. My biggest question was, why? Why would Facebook want to get into the hardware game? Why would they try to pull market away from existing platforms that are already using its applications? Why would they partner with a manufacturer and go through the headaches of fabrication just to have one more device that runs the Facebook app?
I can’t think of a single compelling reason to do any of that. There’s a reason Facebook didn’t introduce a phone at its mobile even this Wednesday, and that reason is the picture you see above. All of those devices run the Facebook app. All of them. That’s what Facebook wants. It wants all of them. All the devices, all the people, everyone, everywhere, using Facebook on a mobile device, all the time. They’ll get it, too.
Yesterday’s Facebook announcement was about leveraging third party developers, about getting all sorts of tools to further enmesh people in the Facebook platform, essentially for free. As the Phandroid article I’m sourcing this from puts things:
Now, instead of Facebook going it alone to create the perfect solutions, they’ve got a world of developers all “working for them” – for free – to make Facebook’s social and mobile platform infinitely successful. Android is no different. Every time another app or game lands on Android Market, Google has provided consumers with value. All they did was create the initial tools, and now thousands and thousands of people are out there building value for their product.
That’s what the mobile announcement was. It’s giving consumers value through quality experience and giving developers the tools to reinforce that quality experience. This is what will keep Facebook from turning into MySpace. Facebook doesn’t need a phone.