Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is offering an alternative to Facebook Home, reacting to the Home’s unpopularity even if it hasn’t acknowledged it directly, reports Jared Newman at Time. Instead of completely handing your phone over to Facebook, anyone with Facebook’s Android app can set their news feed as their lock screen, a feature that FB is calling the Cover Feed.
Facebook Home essential to recover position
Facebook Home was an attempt to recover the websites central position as users move to more mobile computing. In the past someone might communicate with friends, play games, and post pictures through the FB platform, but now they are often using separate apps for each of those activities, using Android or iPhone as their base of operations.
Android users with the Facebook app now have the option of exchanging their normal home screen with a special Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) home screen, but it has been almost universally criticized as clunky and unattractive, further eroding Facebook’s mobile reputation.
Cover Feed offers less competition for Facebook
The Cover Feed is an attempt to navigate between the two extremes of being just another app on the one hand and trying to take over the user’s phone on the other. Since most people don’t use their lock screen, it’s a portion of open real estate that offers Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) significantly less competition. Android is starting to offer other lock-screen apps, but the space has yet to mature and users don’t have much to lose by giving the Cover Feed a try.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has come under criticism for months that it was losing ground in the transition away from traditional computing to smartphones and tablets, but it has answered that criticism in recent weeks by posting strong earnings and convincing investors that CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg still has the vision to lead the company, whose stock has gone up 50 percent since its Q2 earnings were released. It recently hit a share price of $38.49, the first time the stock has gone above its initial public offering (IPO) price of $38.00.
Seen in that light, Cover Feed can be seen as even more proof that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will continue to adapt to match user expectations and maintain its importance in people’s digital lives, even if it doesn’t completely supplant their favorite mobile OS.