Facebook’s new Android-based software is not going to be used by many people, no matter how good it is, not initially, anyway.
Facebook announced that its Android take over software called Home will only be available on a few phones. Three Android phones currently in the market will support Home — the HTC One X, the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II.
At most, we’d estimate those three phones add up to 55 million units worldwide.
If every single person in the world with one of those phones installed Home, it would be 5.5 per cent of Facebook’s user base. Because it’s going to be a bit of an effort to get Home installed on those phones, we’d guess a lot less are going to actually do it.
It could be as low as 5-10 million people, which is really nothing for Facebook.
This is actually a good thing for Facebook. It gets a chance to use these people as testers. It can see how they use Home, what they like and what they don’t.
Over the long run, more phones will support Facebook Home, including the newest handsets from HTC and Samsung. So, Facebook will eventually be able to offer home to a lot more users.
The first group of users will teach Facebook what it’s doing right and wrong with Home, so it can tweak it to suit a larger audience.
(Assuming Google doesn’t decide to ban Home from Android in the next two years.)