Menlo Park, California–Facebook is planning a mobile phone takeover, beginning as early as Thursday. The social network is aiming to be on the home page, with the help of Google’s Android operating software. Smartphones manufactured by HTC will be the first devices on which the app will be available. Samsung phones will also be supporting the new souped-up application as well as standard Android driven devices.
The front-and-center Facebook app is designed to capture and engage users more frequently, a move the social site is relying upon to boost its mobile advertising revenue. In the fourth quarter of last year, 23 percent of the company’s revenue came from mobile ads.
“A vertically integrated, horizontally deployed Facebook ‘mini-ecosystem’ will move the needle on user engagement and therefore advertising revenues more effectively than if Facebook attempted to introduce it’s own proprietary phone/OS into a crowded field against better funded competitors. Tactically, it’s a brilliant move,” the Daily Telegraph reported.
Facebook has been undergoing a series of improvements over the past several months. The most notable of which has been its redesign of the new feed feature, the most popular page on the social network.
This level of exposure is poised to make user engagement more ubiquitous, taking advantage of the 650 million mobile users currently connected to the social site as Facebook seeks to keep its first place ranking among social media platforms.
The venture is also being offered to other smartphone manufactures, an attempt to make it industry wide. The move is a continuation of a business relation with HTC, which previously manufactured the ChaCha phone, a device which featured a Facebook app which allowed users to post photos directly to the social site.
Analysts warn that although people are migrating to mobile phones as a preferred method of connecting to the internet, that most dedicated smartphone users won’t be a reliable source of mobile ad revenue. Teens, in particular, favor accessing the internet via mobile device but that demographic is moving decidedly away from Facebook.