Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted on Wednesday that the Facebook Home Android app,
launchedwith much fanfare six months ago, is not a success.
“Home is slower rolling out than I would have hoped,” Zuckerberg said on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.
But he wasn’t quite ready to call it a failure. “One of the toughest things is determining when something isn’t going to work versus just hasn’t worked yet.”
Facebook Home is Facebook’s idea of a “Facebook phone” that puts its social network front and center on an Android phone.
It’s been widely considered a flop. Less than a month after launch, HTC dropped the price of First, the only phone to ship with the new Facebook Home Android app right of the box. In June, Samsung reportedly turned Zuckerberg down when he tried to get the company to make a Facebook Home phone.
But he says, there are bits and pieces of Home that are a hit. He said that people like the lock screen, which shows updates and has a music player; they like the cover feed, that shows posts and photos from the news stream; and they “loved” Chat Head which lets you quickly reply to messages while using other apps.
Facebook even rolled out Chat Heads to its other mobile apps, including its iPhone app.
In some ways, Facebook is using Home almost as testing ground for new mobile app features.
He hasn’t given up yet on turning Home into a hit yet, either.
Users of the app want Facebook to show content from more social networks on the lock screen. So Facebook will soon show Instagram content and “other social” updates there, although he didn’t mention which non-Facebook social networks would be supported.
“We’re patient. It’s early. I still fully believe that this is going to be something a lot of people want over time. Getting content delivered to your home screen and being ambiently aware of what’s going on I think is a very valuable thing.”