Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook Home on Thursday, a launcher platform to be used on Android phones, putting an end to the rumors that the social network is building an actual phone.
"Today we're going to finally talk about that Facebook Phone. More accurately, we're gonna talk about how you can turn your phone into a Facebook Phone," Zuckerberg said Thursday at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
In plain terms, any Android phone could become a "Facebook phone" once the app-like launcher is installed. It will modify the overall look and feel of the Android operating system.
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Rumors have been swirling for years that Facebook was building an actual phone, but Zuckerberg said that just wouldn’t have been practical.
"A great phone might sell 10 or 20 million units at best, but our community has over 1 billion people," he said. "Even if we built a really good phone, we'd only be serving 1 percent of Facebook users."
Facebook Home will integrate the social network onto a phone's home screen. Screens shots show buttons along the top for common Facebook actions, such as updating a status, posting a photo, or checking into a location, and icons for the major Facebook apps including Instagram and Messenger in the center of the screen, according to CNN.
A main feature of Facebook Home is Chatheads. Chatheads is a persistent messaging widget that appears in other apps. During the presentation, Facebook demonstrated a Chathead over a New York Times app, and showed how a whole conversation can happen without leaving the app.
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"Imagine Facebook’s integration with iOS 6, but on steroids, and built by Facebook itself," TechCrunch's Josh Constine wrote when the latest "Facebook Home" rumors started. "It could have a heavy reliance on Facebook’s native apps like Messenger, easy social sharing from anywhere on the phone, and more."
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