Facebook Phone: For Tweens?
The announcement recently that Facebook was (again) developing it’s own devoted mobile device has surprisingly brought lots of criticism. Popular tech blog AllThingsD found in an informal survey that 81% of respondents wouldn’t use a Facebook phone, and influential editor Pete Cashmore suggested that market concerns are practically forcing Facebook to explore this area.
But I think these so-called experts are forgetting about the massive audience that will be clamoring for the Facebook phone: teens and tweens. Guess what? This younger generation doesn’t respond to surveys on Wall Street Journal blogs, and they don’t even understand the concept of online privacy.
On Thanksgiving, I got to catch up with my almost-16-year-old cousin, and was reminded that a smartphone is essentially a Facebook delivery system to her and her friends. And any function that could be conducted through any number of programs- email, photo sharing, text messaging- was inevitably conducted through the social media site.
Josh Catone at Mashable noted a similar phenomenon when Facebook rolled out their Timeline feature. He saw Timeline and many recent developments as being aimed squarely at the young Facebook users who want updates from the site in real time, and who share practically everything.
So I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg is gambling as much as people believe; he is wisely cutting out the middle man, and reaching out directly to the audience demanding his service.
What do you think? Would you buy a Facebook phone, or do you know someone who would?