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Facebook releases ‘Home’ software for Android devices

In what is thought to be its latest attempt to further integrate social media into everyday life, Facebook has released its much-hyped software package, ‘Home’.

For its users, the package allows quick and convenient access to the services Facebook provides and is expected to boost the social network’s mobile popularity even further.

The software comprises a set of apps that owners of Android handsets are able to download; changing the appearance and functionality of their device.

At a California launch event last week, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said:

“You’re going to be able to turn your Android phone into a great, simple social device. Home is the lock screen in addition to the home screen, so you don’t need to do any swipes or gestures to see this content.”

After downloading the app package, the interface will put the content posted by friends and ‘liked’ brands to the forefront, rather than behind an icon as it currently is – ensuring nothing is missed.

As well as the new home screen interface, the package puts more focus on Facebook’s messaging service. A new feature named ‘Chat Heads’ will make conversing with friends even easier. Whatever application the phone’s user is running at the time, a picture of the friend will show in the corner of the screen to provide the option of replying instantly by tapping it.

Talking about the move, Charles Golvin, an industry analyst from research company Forrester, said:

“What Facebook wants is to put itself at the front of the Android user experience for as many Facebook users as possible and make Facebook more elemental to their customers’ experience.”

The new interface is seen by many as an attempt by Facebook to regain the dominance it once had amongst the social media market and will no doubt have promotion-hungry brands looking at innovative ways to reach the millions of Android users who may choose to download.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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