Apr 05 2013

Honey, are you Home?

When I first heard the news that Facebook is unveiling its new version of its Android “something that’s a lot deeper than an app” called “Home”, I was reminded of how Samsung has been heavily investing on software for their new Samsung Galaxy S4 flagship in order to differentiate the product from the existing ones in the market and strengthen their current and future position in a very competitive market.
Will it work for Samsung as well as for Facebook?

For Samsung, I am yet to be convinced. Unless Samsung can produce a better software with good usability, I will still refrain from using Samsung’s pre-loaded software. The last time I used Samsung Kies, the software was struggling to recognise its own products in a consistent manner. I am afraid when I use its S Health, the software will tell me that 100 grams of white basmati rice will have the same calory as 100 grams of white jasmine rice and screw my diet plans – as if I have one now 😉

For Facebook, the introduction of Home will be a strategic move to lure ever growing Android platform users. As we all know, the existing Facebook app for Android is honestly less than usable. I prefer to use WhatsApp any time of the day than Facebook app that is slow, clumsy and buggy. From the feedback that I received from Komunitas Android Indonesia – the most popular Android community in Indonesia, many prefer to use WhatsApp or BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for text communication rather than Facebook. I believe the introduction of Home will radically change the playing field for a better one, especially when Samsung is currently beefing up their software capacity and HTC is trying to come up with something attractive.

The only thing that I am concerned is whether Facebook itself is still experimenting with its new Home. The fact that Home is only available first for US and later Europe is underlining the fact that Facebook has left the users in its former capital city (Jakarta, Indonesia) sweating – ed. There is no winter in Indonesia, so I can’t write that Facebook left the users in Jakarta in cold :-). Facebook has been loosing its grip for awhile now in Indonesia and US due its weak mobile strategy. The new Home should be able to give it a boost needed to level the playing field in Indonesia and other emerging markets.

If Facebook is confident enough with its new Home – “something that’s a lot deeper than an app”, why not releasing it for its emerging markets, i.e. Indonesia, Brazil or India?