Facebook Home: What it is, where it’s going and what it means

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Media Monday

Facebook Home will launch on Android phones in a few weeks. The series of apps will make the Android phone experience more Facebook focused. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Facebook Home, the newest push by Facebook to make your real life secondary to your digital life, isn’t going to be a success, but it is a sign for more developments to come.

Facebook unveiled the new technology for Android phones late last week. The announcement was teased as something dramatic, and most tech-related news sites spent the week debating whether the announcement would be a Facebook phone, what a Facebook phone would mean and whether a Facebook phone is the right move for Facebook.

Facebook Home is not a new phone and it is not a new operating system. It is a series of apps that take over your phone’s home screen. As soon as you pick up or look at your phone, your experience revolves around “Cover Feed,” a series of photos and status updates from friends. While you use your phone, Facebook will always be running in the background. Notifications will keep popping up, and the social media interaction does not stop. For now, Facebook Home will only be available for a few Android phones.

This is a lot more than the Facebook app we’re all used to. Unsurprisingly, the frequently controversial Facebook is already in a bit of hot water over its new announcement. People are upset about potential privacy invasions, and others are calling Facebook Home a potential dud.

Here’s my take: This is not something bad and it is not something good. Facebook Home will be fun for a few weeks, but in the end it sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. Facebook Home, however, is a stepping stone for whatever is next. 

It could be a springboard for something greater and maybe something scarier. It is a sign of a growing relationship between social media and our daily lives, and how the lines between the two are becoming increasingly blured with every new app and social media addition. 

Our daily routine and social media are already closely connected, but Facebook is taking this connection to the next level by developing apps that make a phone revolve around the social media experience. The gap between our digital lives and real lives is shrinking rapidly.

Within a year, something bigger, greater and even more intrusive will replace Facebook Home. It is just another step along the road of a social media takeover.

Facebook reportedly has more than 1 billion monthly active users, and the impact can easily be seen. Understanding how to use Twitter is now a must for any journalist. Instagram, a silly app that makes photos look hipster and cool and vintage, is also used as a marketing tool. And all of these very different social media tools can interact with each other.

Meanwhile, there are the developing Google Glass, an invention that just a few years ago could only exist in a science-fiction fan’s dream. This tool literally puts your waking life in constant internet and media interaction and many — including myself — are drooling and dreaming at the chance to try a pair out.

The merging of our real lives and social media lives is exciting, yet it is also a little scary. The ramifications are unknown, but most B-rated movies hint at apocalypse when mankind becomes too dependent on technology.

Either way, Facebook Home is not going to stick around, but it is another step in a continuously growing connection between our lives and our social media, and another sign of how the two might become one in the same.