Can Facebook convince Apple to allow Facebook Home on the iPhone?
April 15, 2013
If you aren’t a huge Facebook fan, the thought of replacing your phone’s homescreen with Facebook Home probably sounds nauseating. But for the millions of people who practically live on Mark Zuckerberg’s social network, Home is basically a handy shortcut to their favorite place. Right now that shortcut is limited to Android, but Facebook sure is trying to turn Apple on to the idea.
This is according to Bloomberg, who talked to Facebook’s product director Adam Mosseri. Mosseri said that talks are “ongoing,” with Facebook hoping Apple makes a huge exception for the social network.
Don't hold your breathAnd what an exception that would be. Apple’s success was built on control of the “whole widget.” Apple software, Apple hardware ... even third-party apps need to be approved by Apple. For Tim Cook and company to let another company take over its homescreen or lockscreen ... well, let’s just say it would be unprecedented.
... unprecedented, and extremely unlikely. Even Facebook admits as much. Mosseri says that any fruits borne of this collaboration “would be tailored to what Apple prefers.” He suggested that the iOS version could take another form, maybe just serving as an update to the Facebook app.
Even if Apple bended to allow Facebook Home as some kind of home or lock screen replacement, you can mark my words that it would never allow Facebook to post ads in those places. And that’s the ultimate goal of Facebook Home: a new, better way to serve mobile ads.
So, for Facebook Home and the iPhone, compromise is inevitable. But maybe it would also be worth it, with Apple's sizable share of the smartphone market.
iOS changes?Maybe Facebook’s best hope lies in upcoming changes to iOS. If Apple ever allows homescreen or lockscreen widgets, then that could be a way in. For all we know, there could be other radical changes in store for iOS that would give Facebook a clearer path to iPhone users.
But, as iOS stands right now, don’t hold your breath. Unless Facebook Home becomes a huge must-have selling feature on Android phones, there’s very little motive for Apple to break one of its core tenets.