As maintained for a long time now by Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, it does not have to build its own phone. But surely, it needs to find a bigger role to play when it comes to satisfying the customers on their mobile interface.
Facebook needs to source channels to communicate, search for answers to questions and shop online and other ways to be entertained. Basically, it needs to become the workhorse for the vast majority of its users who live outside the States. Minor profits are earned from this portion of Facebook users which needs to be exponentially increased.
Taking a significant step in this direction this, Facebook will release a moderately priced Smartphone developed by HTC. Powered by Google’s android operating system, the phone will be entirely Facebook centric and will be tweaked to exhibit the site and its apps right on the home screen.
This release of a Smartphone by Facebook adheres to two crucial product releases in the past two months: one, a new search tool encouraging users to use their friend network to locate landmarks and running trails and two, a news feed redesigned for the mobile devices.
Significant features of the phone
Although the details of the new phone are not yet confirmed, the motivation is certain. According to the sources, this new Facebook Smartphone will have a modest 5 megapixel rear lens for the images, a 1.6 megapixel frontal camera for the video calling and a basic 16 gigabytes of storage.
Facebook is aiming for an affordable device which will be able to target millions of its users from Latin America to India. The new device will also have a look very similar to the black iPhone. However, the display would be slightly larger of 4.3 inches. Needless to say, the phone would come loaded with all Facebook services and apps- not to mention instant messenger and Instagram.
The marketing strategy
The marketing strategy that will be deployed will be that the new Smartphone will be affordable to the emerging markets in India and Brazil. These countries have the largest chunk of Facebook users after the United States and their numbers are fast growing with swift Smartphone penetration in the economy. For instance, many Indian cell phone companies are already providing Facebook pre-installed in their mobile sets. Facebook makes less money by advertising these users though. By developing new technology with HTC, the giant social network is signalling to make an international push. It believes in the idea that the more people you can associate with you, the more advertisements can be delivered.
Ads are the principal money makers for the social site. Moreover, Facebook is under immense pressure to prove Wall Street that it is capable of generating more money given that its stock value is still lower than its initial public offerings.
According to the New York Times, the new Facebook Smartphone will work on recent android version and will display the newsfeed as soon as it is turned on. With the new Smartphone, speculations are that the users can buy online and offline gifts over the site with their credit cards. It is focusing more on real names, so it can be something like an identity verification service as well. Thus, to sum up, it will be like a mobile wallet, containing identity of the user and freedom to seamlessly buy things.