Tech Tuesday: Facebook Home receives mixed reviews

Facebook recently launched their latest app, Home. The software, which can only downloaded on Android phones at the moment, replaces the existing home screen with a Facebook feed and chat options.

The app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times from the Google Play store, but has received an average rating of 2.2 stars out of five. The app is free to download currently, and over 11,000 users have left ratings or reviews in the Play store.

Some of the reviews mention issues with battery life, and there have been complaints, that once Home is installed, existing widgets (shortcuts to other applications) cannot be used.

Around half of those who left reviews, marked the app with just one starts, and around 16% of those reviews were five stars.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the app could ‘change the relationship’ that people have with their mobile devices. But some critics have said the app only appeals to those who are avid Facebook users. One user wrote on the reviews page: “If you’re someone who constantly wants to be in the loop with what’s going on, then this is for you,” before adding that she would soon be uninstalling the app. Other users have said that good friends are needed to keep the app fresh and interesting.

Facebook’s latest venture in to the world of apps is an obvious one. Over the first quarter of this year, app revenue across the four main apps stores (Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store and Blackberry World) was £1.4bn ($2.2bn).

Adam Daum, head of analytics at tech firm Canalys, said: “Apps have had a huge impact on the way consumers use mobile devices, what they value, and what they expect from smart phones and tablets,”

“This is a multi-billion-dollar growth market, with more and more consumers around the world now comfortable and confident in finding apps, downloading them and making in-app purchases, on a growing addressable base of smart phones and tablets.”

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