Sorry, Tech Fans: No Facebook Phone
Despite rumors that Facebook would be unveiling a phone in its much-hyped press conference on January 15, the media giant instead announced the launch of its new Graph Search.
In a press release, Facebook said: "Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook."
With Graph Search, you can combine phrases (for example: "my friends in New York who like Jay-Z") to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that's been shared on Facebook.
Another use case example would be searching “Movie my friends Like” which brings up the movies liked by the most of your friends. A “People also liked” suggestion section shows movies also "Liked" by the people that liked a result. So for The Dark Knight Rises, you get suggestions to check out Batman: The Dark Knight and Transformers.
One TechCrunch reporter noted that "it seems a lot like Amazon, but for interest discovery rather than purchasing — at least for now."
In response to a comment that Facebook stock appeared to be dipping slightly, a Mashable.com employee said it best: "The people wanted a Facebook phone, clearly."
Seems like Mark Zuckerberg was serious in September when he said he had no interest in developing a mobile device.
MPD CEO Karen Webster talks about the previous rumor (in September 2012) of a Facebook phone in chapter 3 of her eBook "How To Make It In Mobile Commerce," agreeing that it's just not going to happen.
"As everyone knows well, among other things, apps that were built to run on the native Facebook platform just don’t work, at all, on the mobile phone," she wrote. "That giant sucking sound you hear coming from Mountain View is developers beating a path to mobile apps and away from the Facebook platform. What was once an incentive – the ability to reach hundreds of millions of consumers all assembled neatly on one social platform – has become a liability. So, a mobile fix, and a big one, is surely in order… [Facebook] building its own mobile operating system seems like a really bad idea that could end up compounding rather than solving its mobile problems."