A Facebook Phone: Is This The Final Brick In The Social Network’s Walled Garden?

Looks like it’s that time of year again — the time when rumours of a “Facebook phone” pop up like tulips after a spring rainstorm. This time around, it was a cryptic announcement from the social network about a mobile event next week that set the rumour mill in motion: since the invitation mentioned Android, the speculation is that the company will finally announce a handset that has full Facebook functionality integrated into it. It’s easy to see how this would help the social network build engagement and possibly monetise mobile, but do users really want one?

The invitation to the press event on April 4 said “Come see our new home on Android,” and since Facebook likely wouldn’t have an entire press conference just to announce a new app for the Google operating system, expectations turned to something more: namely, the much-hyped Facebook phone. According to TechCrunch, the launch will see the social network introduce a device from HTC that runs a modified version of the Android operating system and has Facebook’s newsfeed, photo uploading, messaging and other features integrated into it.

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