/// How Is Facebook Home Really Doing?

May 10, 2013  |  All Things Digital


It has been a month since Facebook released Home, the company’s take on a socialized operating system built atop Android. And at a press event this week, Facebook talked about how the app has done in its first weeks on the market. The verdict thus far? Not exactly a home run. Consider this: Home’s project leads Cory Ondrejka and Adam Mosseri said the app was nearing a million downloads as of this week. Sound impressive? Look at it this way: One million downloads of Facebook Home is less than .1 percent of Facebook’s entire monthly active user base, now topping 1.1 billion people every month. And as the company disclosed in its last earnings call, more than 750 million of those people visit Facebook regularly via mobile device. Put simply, one million downloads is a drop in the social ocean. Not that that matters to Facebook, which insists that it’s not that concerned with low numbers, even if some think they should be. “[The number of downloads is] not really important to us,” Mosseri told reporters . “What’s important to us is if people are liking the apps a lot.” Update 3:15 p.m. PT, with further release context: User satisfaction, in this case, is the thrust of Facebook’s rollout strategy for Home, according to the company. Though Home is available for download globally, right now only five Android devices are capable of installing the software — a small amount compared to the hundreds of available Android handsets on the market. Facebook frames this as intentional; release slowly to select devices, and you can listen and fine-tune the product in future software updates, ultimately making the users happy. (That’s the goal, at least.) While it might be unusual for Facebook to dismiss download numbers — particularly in the long term — it’s fair for the company to put user experience and uptake first. The problem is that Facebook didn’t break out how many of those downloads actually resulted in installs and prolonged use of the application. Downloads, after all, do not imply continued or even occasional usage.

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How Is Facebook Home Really Doing?



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