It may not sound like much for a site with more than a billion users and 751 million mobile active users, but a million downloads of Facebook Home is significant. Facebook revealed the figure at a “whiteboard session” held yesterday at the company’s Menlo Park, California headquarters.
Home had 500,000 downloads as of April 21. So the number has doubled in a few weeks. Facebook also said the profile of users adopting Home was becoming “more normal” with each passing week. (It’s not clear what “less normal” would mean in this context.)
The Facebook Home app/launcher has been heavily maligned by users on Google Play. As of late yesterday or early today an update is out, which offers a number of performance improvements and bug fixes.
A coming-soon update, based on user feedback, adds new features such as an improved “dock” to enable people to more quickly access their favorite Android apps. One of the more consistent and prominent complaints about Facebook Home 1.0 was that it makes accessing other Android apps more difficult.
Source: Facebook Q1 earnings slides
Facebook Home is apparently having the desired effect on users. Home increases engagement (time spent, Likes, comments) by 25 percent. Facebook is already the most heavily used mobile app in the US. It far exceeds time spent with other mobile apps.
Home was originally released for the Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, HTC One X and HTC One X+. Support has now been added for the HTC One, as well as “unofficial support” for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
In contrast to Facebook Home, the “Facebook Phone” HTC First appears to be struggling for adoption. Its price was slashed by AT&T in the US from $99 to $0.99 suggesting that AT&T thinks the radical price reduction is necessary to move units. The First has only been on the market one month.