Late last year we broke the news about the upcoming Facebook Phone project, which sparked a media frenzy as the social network claimed this to be wrong, only to later admit that it did exist (the explanation being that there was no ‘Facebook Phone’, but that there are many Facebook Phones). Last week we got a video demo of one of these devices: the Android-based, INQ Cloud Touch. And today HTC announced its own Facebook-branded phones. But this is only the beginning.
Today Facebook announced on its blog that we’ll be seeing many similar integrations over the coming months:
In addition to these new phones from INQ and HTC, you’ll also be seeing similar deep Facebook integration on dozens of other devices over the course of this year. Some manufacturers will be highlighting Facebook as a part of their phones’ on-screen interfaces, and others will use our brand as an element of the device hardware itself.
The Facebook functionality on the INQ devices include single sign-on (you won’t have to keep reentering credentials for various applications, because it will use your Facebook account) and links to popular features like Chat and Places. The HTC devices actually have a Facebook hardware button.
However, while these devices will all feature prominent Facebook integration, we’re also hearing that Facebook continues to work on a different and more exciting project: a ‘social’ version of Android that includes much deeper Facebook integration throughout the OS, stripping out Google’s apps in favor of its own. In other words, Facebook could have its own mobile operating system in the not-so-distant future.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...