Facebook is set to revamp its Facebook Home launcher for Android, stating that “we’ve spent a lot of time digging through the one star ratings”.
Launched by the social networking giant last month, Facebook Home is a downloadable app which goes much further than the standard Facebook offering, taking over the look-and-feel of a user’s smartphone.
However, following its launch it received a mixed response, with criticisms including that it removes too many core Android features in its quest to create a Facebook-centric user interface.
Features in the pipeline include folders of apps within the launcher, to address criticisms that Home made it difficult for users to find their installed titles, and a “dock” on the bottom of the homescreen to give fast access to key features.
The company has previously promised that it would update Facebook Home rapidly.
According to various reports, users are spending 25 per cent more time interacting with Home than Facebook’s standard app, although customers wanting to dedicate their smartphones to the social networking service are likely to be more engaged in the first place.
So far, almost 1 million users have downloaded the app, with Mashable reporting that Cory Ondrejka, director of mobile engineering for Facebook, stated that “we’re doing a relatively slow roll out intentionally”.
The number was described as “in line with our expectations”.
Unsurprisingly, the company did not reveal what proportion of these remain active users, or how many uninstalled Facebook Home due to issues with the user experience.
According to Engadget, Facebook’s focus has been on updating the app first, rather than extending support to more smartphones. Likewise, this has meant that advertising has yet to find its way into Facebook Home.
Facebook Home is supported by a limited number of devices – HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – although it was claimed it has also been sideloaded more than 10,000 times onto unsupported devices by users.
It is also an integral feature of the HTC First smartphone offered by AT&T, which this week saw a dramatic price drop to $0.99 from $99.99 with contract, sparking speculation that demand has been lukewarm.