Three Reasons a Facebook Phone Can Work.


This week we learned of Facebook's internal project (code-named Buffy) to build a Facebook Phone. Much of the tech press laughed: it's too late! It's too crowded! Facebook isn't a hardware company! And so on. Let's not assume failure for three reasons.

1. As I have written before, Facebook a better understanding of what I believe to be a phone's most powerful lever: identity and your contact list.

For most people (which may well be outside silicon valley). Imagine walking into Best Buy, purchasing the phone and walking out with a directory of people, contacts, phone numbers, emails, updates, etc.... simply by logging into your phone. That's really, really powerful. A stub of that already exists through their app and it's a function I use all the time when seeking phone numbers:

2. Core apps are already popular and/or easily buildable. Facebook's Messanger app is currently #2 in iTunes (think SMS). Facebook is #5 (and the experience would be tremendously better if natively integrated). Other popular functions can all be at the app level: - photos: sharing, filters, etc - contacts: really, really powerful - email: messages + hooks to Gmail, Outlook? - music: app ecosystem will support through Spotify, Turntable, Rdio, etc - calendar & events: hooks into Facebook events + opportunity to build out calendaring tools - games...

3. Pricing. Remember why Android took market share so rapidly: pricing pushed towards zero, undercut Apple and allowed them to reach a wider audience.... an audience who is probably more attracted to and a better fit for a Facebook Phone.