New Facebook phone reportedly to be unveiled

Making its run in the rumor circles for years now, Facebook has sent out a media invite to their California headquarters on Thursday, April 4, entitled "Come See Our New Home On Android".
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor
Facebook's “Come See Our New Home On Android” invitation.
Facebook's "Come See Our New Home On Android" invitation.

Rumored to be a collaboration between Taiwan's HTC, the Facebook phone is smartphone whose software is a customized version of the Google Android 4.2 OS. According to sources, this smartphone will reportedly have 4.3-inch screen, 5 MP rear camera and 1.6 MP front camera for video calls, and 16 GB of storage. No details on the price as of yet as the smartphone will be built into Facebook’s features and services, and is intended to increase user's mobile access to Facebook.

The real question is whether this second attempt between HTC and Facebook will be a success, as their first attempt in 2011 with the ChaCha and Salsa phones was considered a failure, and sales were consequently discontinued after a few months.

That being said, of the more than 1 billion users of Facebook, 680 million users access Facebook via mobile devices. Naturally, this is a niche area and market for Facebook to dive into and make a name.

However, almost every smartphone now already has Facebook access, either pre-installed or downloadable as an app. Would consumers really embrace a new Facebook-driven smartphone, throw away their old ones, and buy a new one?

In recent months, the aura of Facebook and its dominance in social media has been tapering off. Many users no longer find Facebook to be as enjoyable and relaxing as it first was, more so as other social media networks have appeared, such as Tumblr.

Furthermore, users are beginning to realize that at the end of the day, in some cases having a very active Facebook profile can in fact go against you, both in personal and professional directions.

We've all heard the stories of the employees who call in sick on a Friday, only to be tagged in a drinking party picture on Saturday, and then fired by Monday. It's not just the pictures that speak a thousand words, as most human resource departments do in fact login to Facebook to determine a candidate's fit within an organization.

On the contrary, it's also been said having no social media presence can also go against you. That is, if you can't be found anywhere online, are you a social deviant and do you have something to hide? Clearly, a balance and fine line between personal and professional needs to be drawn when using Facebook.

In regards to the Facebook phone, personally I feel it would just consume my day with updates and posts, which I can do without during normal business hours. Then again, I'm quite content with the Facebook app I have on my phone, so I won't be rushing out to buy a Facebook phone to begin with.

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