Insights / industry

Third Time’s a Charm? Facebook’s Potential Smartphone Launch

According to The New York Times, Facebook may be launching a smartphone in the near future. If rumors are true, this will be CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s third attempt at integrating his social media platform with phone hardware. After failed past attempts, it is reported that the company has hired former Apple software experts and hardware engineers to help develop the new smartphone. It appears as if Zuckerberg has finally come to the realization that he needs the expertise of those who have previously worked with successful products such as the iPhone and iPad, to get his hardware right this time around.

Although Facebook is keeping quiet about the future endeavor, an employee recruited to work on the alleged smartphone claims that Zuckerberg eagerly asked him questions pertaining to the “inner workings of a smartphone”. This enthusiasm suggests that the CEO’s intentions of releasing a Facebook smartphone next year are fully there despite the obvious complexity of developing the hardware.

This report has left many people questioning Facebook’s objectives. How functional will the company’s phone turn out to be if their current smartphone application seems to always have a glitch?  Is a smartphone just a new channel of revenue for the company which has recently become public on the stock market? Or perhaps the company is looking for more ways to innovate and expand their network. Facebook has already purchased Instagram, a photo app for $1 billion a couple of months ago and has now released a similar Facebook Camera app for Apple’s iOS users to upload pictures more quickly and efficiently. Maybe a smartphone is just another way to keep magnifying Zuckerberg’s social networking service.

What do you think? Will a Facebook smartphone be beneficial to your company by constantly keeping you connected with your clients? Do you feel that a smartphone is the right path for Facebook to follow, or is the concept straying away from what the social network was originally about?

By Victoria South
Mason Intern Summer 2012