Is has become known this week that Facebook is getting into the Smartphone business. Is it really that surprising? No. No its not. It’s name is Buffy, as in the WB channels late 90’s vampire slayer, whom people of my generation know and love. Facebook has decided to work with HTC to create this phone, which looks like it won’t be released for at least 12 months, but most likely longer. They are planning to have the phone run on a modified version of Android, that Facebook is said to have “tweaked heavily” to integrate its services. This was clearly the next step for Facebook, and a wise one at that. Facebook is by far the most used app on any given smartphone, so why not create a phone that is all Facebook all the time?
Reports are saying the phone will support HTML5, which will allow users to play games such as Farmville and Bejeweled (my favorite) directly from the Facebook app, as they do when they are on their laptops or tablets. Currently, many developers offer these games through separate apps that you have to download, which in turns blocks them accessing Facebook users directly, HTML5 on Buffy will help bridge that gap.
Spokesmen for Facebook declined to comment on Buffy, but have said “Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”
If Facebook wants to stay on top, creating a phone is the obvious next step for them take. Making it easier for their 800 million users to access Facebook whenever and wherever they want, will only help the social network continue to be the giant that they are. With the recent popularity of Google+, which is only going to continue to grow, Google has a head start considering they have phones already – I own one. Not to mention how they are beginning to integrate Google+ and search so seamlessly, take a look at Bess’ post to find out more about how they’re doing that. Yes Facebook has 800 million users, more than any other Social Media site, but they dont have the search platform that Google has. Facebook has some catching up to do, thats for sure, and creating Buffy is a good place to start.