The Soul of Your Phone: “Always Knowing What’s Around You”
Who could have predicted that Facebook Home would become “the soul of your phone.” Matt Zuckerberg, claiming that everyone looks at their phones 100 times a day, describes a world of people replacing apps, those colorful icons that occupy our phone screens. Android, begone. Give me pictures of my friends having fun. Give me warm and fuzzy feelings of people I know, who eat jellybeans and ice cream sandwiches. Let me always know what my friends are doing and saying.
I no longer need a mobile device; I need a “home,” a place to go where everyone accepts me, a Hallmark Card that says “Welcome Home.” Facebook’s home is my digital world of friends, memories and experiences, who entice me to “come home.”
Advertisers must have drooled after the presentation, imagining branded home screens, larger than life. The mobile screen with baseball-card sized mobile ads, smaller than TV screens, but larger than teeny banner ads appearing at the bottom of my phone.
Facebook Home : “It Sets the Tone for Your Whole Experience. And We Think It Should Be Deeply Personal” Says Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg wants mobile home screens experienced as deeply personal. In the movie, The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg, who plays the lead character, talks about “the university experience.” Like swimming, you’re immersed in the feel of warm water surrounding your body. Light breaks into different spectrums. It’s the whole experience in a reality once felt in the womb. For Zuckerberg, the pool is the home screen, where you come for safety. And, yes, of course, it absolutely must be deeply personal.
Zuckerberg: It’s a Family of Apps
Yet Facebook Home, per Zuckerberg, is a “family of apps,” those terrible icons that launch us into worlds beyond our immediate experience. Thousands of them invade our smartphones, entertaining and informing, challenging and mesmerizing.
So we come full circle. Facebook Home may tease us with Apple-like photos of our friends smiling and gesturing to us. We can stare at the home screen savoring every second, 100 times a day. But behind the images are technologies that sometimes fail to delight. Sometimes knowing everything happening around us produces anxiety and a desire for a simpler life.
“The Soul of Your Phone,” indeed, may lie in deeper waters.