From the MIT Technology Review, Paul Ford looks at the strangeness of Facebook Home, noting that "Facebook’s new interface for smartphones is at odds with how the world uses computers."
No other company is like Facebook. It is an advertising-driven business that grows by routing more human social signals through its enormous proprietary network. As people use mobile devices to do more things, the company needs to capture more of smartphone users’ attention. Globally, people send 8.6 trillion text messages each year, and not through Facebook. Choosing not to limit itself to an app on smartphones, Facebook has built on Android, grafting onto it a new interface layer it calls Facebook Home.
It is an imperfect graft, and it may not take. One reason is the less-than-happy implementation of Facebook’s idea. But the broader problem is that the social-?networking company’s vision of the relationship between humans and computers is at odds with the Palo Alto tradition, which the world has irreversibly embraced. If there is a conflict between Facebook Home and the Android system on which it is built, it’s this: Android knows many small things, and Facebook Home knows only one big thing.
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