Facebook in Home talks with Apple and Microsoft – report

Facebook in Home talks with Apple and Microsoft – report

16 APR 2013

Facebook is in talks with Apple and Microsoft about offering a version of the social network’s Home interface for the iPhone and Windows Phone devices, according to Bloomberg.

Citing Adam Mosseri, director of product for Facebook, it was said that the company is in “an ongoing conversation” with the companies to offer a version of Home, which was unveiled for Android devices earlier this month.

However, website TNW said it had been in contact with “a source inside Facebook”, who said that “right now no discussions have taken place to bring Home to those platforms”.

Unlike Android, where Google very much takes a hands-off approach to how the platform is used, both Apple and Microsoft prefer to control the user experience, limiting the potential for third-party modifications.

In an interview with Wired at the time of the Home launch, Mark Zuckerberg, the social networking giant’s CEO, said that although the company has a “pretty good partnership with Apple”, the iPhone maker “wants to own the whole experience themselves”.

“There aren’t a lot of bridges between us and Google, but we are aligned with their open philosophy,” he continued.

As far as Apple is concerned, handing over a significant chunk of its interface to a third party would mark a significant change in strategy – and it is not immediately clear how it would benefit from it.

Facebook (alongside Twitter) is already tightly integrated into Apple’s iOS 5 platform.

Mosseri told Bloomberg that the version for Home developed for iOS could “look much different” to the Android version.

“We could also just bring some of the design values to the iOS app. That might be how it ends up. Or we could build just the lock screen. Maybe then it’s not called Home, it’s called something else,” he suggested.

With regard to Windows Phone, The Verge said that the positioning of Home, as a people-centric interface, is similar to that already used by Microsoft as its differentiator – making it unlikely to want to cede too much control to the social networking company.

Indeed, Microsoft has already used its official blog to describe the debut of Facebook Home as “remarkably similar to the launch event we did for Windows Phone two years ago”.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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