Facebook announced Friday that it is making offers available to Android users. In April, Facebook made mobile offers available to iOS users. Facebook pointed out that these offers posts will have a simplified layout with larger images and clear call-to-action buttons (get offer/shop now). Facebook also said users will have more control over whether or not they want to share offer page posts.
Last week, AT&T lowered the price of the HTC First, the first phone to come pre-loaded with Facebook Home, to $0.99 for customers who committed to two-year agreements. Now, BGR is reporting that the device’s poor sales have led AT&T to discontinue the HTC First altogether.
The good news: Facebook Home can now be run on all Android devices running version 4.0 of the mobile operating system or higher, even if they are not on the social network’s list of officially supported devices. The bad news: In order to run Home on non-supported devices, users must first uninstall (and later reinstall) the flagship Facebook application and Facebook Messenger, and then side-load Home.
Facebook has recently shared that on Facebook Home, engagement with the social network has increased 25 percent compared to the standard Facebook mobile application. In this case, engagement refers to the expected: commenting, liking and sharing, but also refers to additional time spent in the app such as messaging.
Contrary to an erroneous report in The Guardian last week, Facebook isn’t losing users in the U.S. They’re just changing up their habits. According to figures provided to AllFacebook by Nielsen, Facebook users are shifting more of their social network time to their mobile devices and away from desktop. In March 2013, U.S. visitors to Facebook’s mobile application (Android & iOS) spent an average of 6 hours, 49 minutes on the site, compared to 6 hours, 44 minutes on average on desktop.
A few weeks ago, Facebook updated the layout for pages on iOS and mobile web, bringing information such as a map and a call button to the top. Friday, Facebook will start rolling out this update for Android.
When Facebook introduced Home, as well as the flagship HTC First device, it felt weird to call it a phone. There’s little to no customization, as there is with most smart phones on the market, and it seems like that’s what turned off users. But the planned updates announced Thursday show that Facebook is planning to turn Home-enabled phones back into, well, phones. However, Facebook Home could just be a guinea pig for the company to develop something better in the future.
On the Google Play store, Facebook Home users have made their voices heard. As of Thursday, there are more than 8,300 one-star reviews of the application, compared with 2,700-plus five-star reviews, with Facebook Home earning an average rating of 2.2. During a media session Thursday with selected reporters, Facebook talked about how the company has taken these reviews into consideration and will give users better access to apps over the next couple of months.
Many users have been unhappy with Facebook Home, the company’s mobile platform on Android. Facebook will release a small update Thursday to Home, but it will mainly be bug fixes and minor improvements. Two lead engineers told a select group of reporters Thursday that the first update to Home will be released Thursday afternoon, with greater updates available within the next two months.