Facebook’s Sandberg: Future Lies in Mobile, But Home Needs Work

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told an audience at AllThingsDigital’s D11 conference that the social network’s “Home” app for Android has a viable future despite needing some work.

“I think it will be a long road,” she told the audience, according to AllThingsD’s own report. “We believe that the phone will get reorganized around people—Home is the first iteration of that.”

But Home could require a good deal of tweaking, at least if user feedback is any sort of indication. After installing the Home app, the Android user’s screen displays a modified version of the Facebook news feed, with an emphasis on images; other features include “Chat Heads,” a messaging interface that sprinkles the screen with little icons of friends’ heads. While that’s a great way to get Facebook front-and-center on someone’s phone, the software’s one-star reviews on the Google Play storefront greatly outnumber the four- and five-star reviews.

Earlier in May, TechCrunch quoted analytics vendor Distimo as saying that Facebook Home is tumbling on the Google Play rankings, despite Facebook’s full-press marketing campaign. So the software is clearly facing some issues, at least with regard to popular opinion and downloads.

Sandberg framed Home as “v.1” and suggested that, whether people love it or hate it, Facebook was pleased with the momentum. With regard to mobile devices, she also indicated that the company had an app in the works for Google Glass.

Sandberg also addressed claims that teenagers are abandoning the social network in favor of Twitter and other services. “They continue to be active and engaged Facebook users,” she said, despite using Tumblr and Twitter more. In the meantime, Facebook is working hard on Graph Search, its powerful in-service search engine, and the better targeting of ads; throughout her time onstage, Sandberg gave the impression that a whole lot of projects are in some state of transition, with definite goals but no finishing line necessarily in sight.

“I worry about everything,” she told the audience. “Mark [Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO] and I are big worriers.”


Image: AllThingsD

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