Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook still believe in Home
Although many consumers have branded Facebook Home (the social network’s Android platform) a flop, the program still has a very important fan — CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg told a packed crowd at TechCrunch Disrupt Wednesday that Facebook is still fully supportive of Home, and teased that Instagram and other social content will be coming to the cover feed soon.
Facebook made a big push with Home in April, but many users who downloaded Home were frustrated and unsure of what exactly it was. Many people complained through Google Play reviews that Home was taking over their phone, quickly deleting it.
TechCrunch Founder Michael Arrington challenged Zuckerberg, asking if he felt that Home was a failure. Zuckerberg noted that unlike other companies, such as Apple, Facebook would rather put out an imperfect product, then improve it as people use it, rather than wait and wait until they have something at utmost quality to release:
One of the toughest things is determining when something isn’t going to work, versus it just hasn’t worked yet. I definitely think Home is slower in rolling out than I would have hoped. People like the lock screen. They like Cover Feed. They love Chat Heads, so we rolled that out 100 percent.
People want more content than just Facebook content on the lock screen, so we’re taking the time to build that in. In one of the upcoming monthly releases, you’ll be able to get Instagram content and other social content in there, and that will just make it more valuable. I still fully believe this is going to be something that a lot of people want over time. Getting content delivered to your home screen and being aware of what’s going on is a very valuable thing.
Zuckerberg’s answer wasn’t too surprising. Facebook’s modus operandi has always been to release a product, then constantly upgrade and update it after seeing how users engage with it. Facebook Home is no different. Not long after mass amounts of users complained about feeling confused by Home, Facebook tried to better educate users regarding what Home is and what it can do. Facebook Home currently has a 2.5 rating on Google Play, with twice as many 1-star reviews than 5-star reviews.
Zuckerberg said that Home is still something that people want. Prior to the release of Home, many users had asked about a “Facebook Phone,” and it had become a bit of a running joke at every press event or earnings call. Reporters or investors would ask Zuckerberg or a Facebook exec about a Facebook phone, and would always get a dismissal.
To paraphrase a favorite Facebook saying, the journey of Facebook Home is likely 1 percent finished.
Photo by Courtney Rundles.