Why the Facebook Phone is a Bad Idea - Digital Space

Monday, 28 May 2012

Why the Facebook Phone is a Bad Idea

I learnt that Facebook, the biggest social network that has just gone public, has decided to make a phone. This is still just rumour but didn't we have a similar line floating around sometime last year?

I mean, I can see why they would want to go into the hardware business and being newly listed, they are now under more pressure to deliver to their shareholders. According to BBC, the company revealed that they have been struggling to generate revenue from its 900 million users. Also, recently, it was revealed that Google still made more money from ads than Facebook does.

Here are the reasons why I think it's a bad idea:
- Facebook offers an optional service: Most people do not have get on Facebook's website to get what they want like Google's search. This is why I feel the later made more money than the former in their ad revenue. So creating a phone out of an optional service will only polarize (and may be terrorize) potential users. Example, if I was going to be tempted to open a Facebook account, it would be much easier for me to pop open the website than to go and purchase a phone.

- This leads me to the conclusion: you either love it or hate it. If you are a Facebook junkie, the phone would be a must have; if you are a skeptic, the phone will confirm your worst fears.

- Is there any more room in the Smartphone palour?
Now, I wish Facebook well in their ventures but I think every option should be explored before diving into the already saturated smartphone market - many of these phones already doing amazing things that make them more social than the average users could care.

However, the above is just my opinion and in the tech world there are many twists and turns. You never know what will become a hit with the market so I could be wrong and according to NYTimes: "Despite the difficulties, Facebook seems well positioned in certain ways to enter the smartphone market. It already has an entire operating system complete with messaging, calendar, contacts and video, and an immense app store is on its way with thousands of highly popular apps. There’s also that billion-dollar camera app, in the form of Instagram."

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