News / USA

Facebook Showcases 'Home' for Phones; Takes On Google

A projection screen displays the new Facebook Home software for Android during a Facebook press event, in Menlo Park, California, April 4, 2013.
A projection screen displays the new Facebook Home software for Android during a Facebook press event, in Menlo Park, California, April 4, 2013.
Reuters
— Facebook Inc. unveiled "Home" software on Thursday to place the world's social network front and center on Android users' smartphones, a move that may divert users from Google Inc. services and steal some of its rival's momentum in the fast-growing mobile arena.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive speaks during a Facebook press event in Menlo Park, California, April 4, 2013.Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive speaks during a Facebook press event in Menlo Park, California, April 4, 2013.
x
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive speaks during a Facebook press event in Menlo Park, California, April 4, 2013.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive speaks during a Facebook press event in Menlo Park, California, April 4, 2013.
Its new family of apps will let users display mobile versions of their newsfeed and messages prominently on the home screens of a wide range of devices based on Google's Android operating system, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters.

Shares in Facebook climbed two percent to $26.83 in the afternoon. Google stock was off 1.5 percent at $793.81.

"Why do we need to go into those apps in the first place to see what's going on with those we care about?'' Zuckerberg told the hundreds of reporters and industry executives gathered at Facebook's Menlo Park campus. "We want to bring all this content to the front.''

Facebook executives showed a new "chatheads" messaging service and "coverfeed'' -- both of which dominate users' home screens and continuously feed messages, photos, status updates and other content from Facebook's network.

"Home'' brings the competition between the two Web superpowers to the mobile front, which is becoming many consumers' primary conduit to the Internet. Facebook, the world's largest social network, and Google, the dominant Internet search engine, are locked in battle for Internet users' time online and for advertising dollars.

For Facebook, bolstering its mobile presence is critical.

Nearly 70 percent of Facebook members used mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to access its service at the end of 2012, and 157 million of Facebook's roughly one billion users accessed the service solely on a mobile device.

The company has stepped up efforts to ensure that its revenue-generating ads can be viewed on mobile devices and Zuckerberg has said that the company's engineers are now focused on creating "mobile-first experiences.''

Reports that Facebook was developing its own smartphone have sporadically appeared for years though Zuckerberg has shot them one down, saying that building a Facebook phone would be "the wrong strategy.''

With specialized software that adds a layer on top of Android, Facebook may get many of the benefits of having its own phone without the costs and risks of actually building a hardware device.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid