Moments ago, Facebook (NASDAQ:
its new app launcher, known as Facebook Home. The new
pseudo-platform is getting a
ton of buzz
from tech reporters, and has already received support from HTC,
Samsung and Sony (NYSE:
In fact, HTC will ship a brand-know phone, known simply as
"First," that will come with Facebook Home pre-loaded onto the
Not everyone had a positive outlook on the announcement,
however. While Facebook Home should prove to be beneficial to the
social networking giant, it could be detrimental to Google
"Facebook has hijacked the screen," Trip Chowdhry, the
Managing Director of Equity Research at Global Equities Research,
told Benzinga shortly after today's event. "The first and
foremost interaction that you do will be on Facebook."
Chowdhry clarified that this does not apply to every user.
"But a significant number of people who use mobile phones only
use them for [a few] things," he said. One of them is social
"If you, as a user, the first interaction that you have with a
phone is with Facebook Home, your experience is controlled by
Facebook," Chowdhry added. "Remember: technology is a commodity.
Now you, as a user, interact with Facebook as an application.
Facebook tells you where to go next. Facebook tells you what are
the good applications to launch. Facebook controls the
Consequently, Chowdhry believes that Facebook will know what
the user is doing, gain access to his or her location, decipher
who the user communicates with and use this information to
deliver customized advertisements.
While Facebook Home will be ad-free when it launches on April
12, the company
to place ads on the Home screen at some point in the future.
"Pretty much Google has been totally blindsided," said
Chowdhry. "This is a classic case of a company being complacent
while living in the past."
Chowdhry was critical of Andy Rubin (one of the original
creators of Android), who was
demoted last month
. He said that Rubin made three key mistakes:
1) "[He was] very focused on tech, not worrying about the
user." 2) "He totally disregarded the licensing terms." 3) "He
ignored the early warning signs that came from Barnes & Noble
)] and Amazon [(NASDAQ:
Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble use forked (modified)
versions of Android that heavily bypass Google and direct users
to their own respective apps and marketplaces.
Chowdhry estimated that Facebook has put one-fifth of the
effort into Facebook Home that Google has put into Android.
"This is a fundamental breakdown for Google's perspective
on…the business direction," he said.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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