Be it never so humble. Facebook is ratcheting up its ubiquitous presence in people's daily lives with its "Home" software for Android devices that more or less turns handsets into Facebook Phones. With Home engaged, the social network becomes the dominant presence on your device, with Facebook messages, updates and big, bright, smiley friend images right upfront, along with the ability to chat while using other apps. A 60-second video from the company's in-house creative department predictably plays the connection card with footage of smiley folks interacting via Facebook Home and lovin' it. The approach is similar to Wieden + Kennedy's mostly maligned commercials for the brand, portraying Facebook as a benign, beneficent presence, minus W+K's metaphorical malarky about chairs and swimming pools. The clip reminds me, somewhat, of the feel-good phone-company ads of yore—Reach out and touch someone, etc.—though Facebook's vanilla flavoring is thicker, and the spot manages to be both grandiose and bland at the same time. Still, the work accomplishes its mission of explaining in simple terms what Home is and why consumers might want to use it. Of course, there's more than UX evolution going on here. Home's economic endgame, as Ovum chief telecoms analyst Jan Dawson points out, is almost certainly "to track more of a user's behavior on devices and present more opportunities to serve up advertising." And the phone "takeover" aspect is Orwellian; even the spot oozes conformity. Still, millions of consumers won't care. They'll be pleased they can go Home again—and if Facebook has its way, they may never leave.
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