Rumours are abound about the potential unveiling of a Facebook phone at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona. Facebook have strenuously denied this rumour. This isn’t the first time the term ‘Facebook phone’ has been uttered around tech circles, but this time the report is coming from City AM. That fabled financial freebie paper accurately reported the manufacture of a new Google phone by Samsung (the Nexus S). Might be worth giving them the benefit of the doubt……. or not.
The phone is rumoured to use a variation of Google’s Android OS and will presumably have a live feed featuring on the home page amongst other Facebook centric features. HTC is rumoured to be a potential manufacturer, but again these rumours are being rubbished by Facebook’s top echelon. But it seems likely that Facebook will go on to build their own device. Phones these days carry a large amount of personal data, a rich seam that Facebook want to tap. Your data is Facebook’s lifeblood.
But would you want a Facebook phone? It does rather depend on much you use the site. Some people are very much slaves to the site and can’t really go a long time without craving to check it. So it would perhaps make an excellent birthday/Christmas/impulse purchase for them. For the saner amongst us, the answer is no. Particularly if you value real-world interaction. Ahh the pre-Facebook days were the good old days!
It also depends whether you trust Facebook with your private data, such as phone numbers, addresses and whatnot. Data privacy is not a concept Facebook are aware of, nor are willing to learn. The more data you upload will inevitably build up against your ‘online presence’, all of which can be passed on to third parties if Facebook wishes. And if you lost your Facebook Phone? Wow, that’s a catastrophic amount of data that could be passed into the hands of a miscreant…
Personally, Facebook is something that really should be left at the computer and something that should be confined to occasional use. I can just imagine city centres just full of people swanning around checking their statuses and feeds on the move. Is it even worth checking every minute of everyday? Surely there’s more to life than finding out ‘George has emptied his bowels rather strenuously’?