Facebook Inc. (FB: Quote) Thursday unveiled a new Android app called "Home" that will bring Facebook contents right to the smartphone homepage, as the social networking giant implements new features to increase its share in the mobile ad market.
At an event held at Menlo Park, California, Founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said "Now phones are designed around apps and not people. We want to flip that around."
Once installed, the new Home app will become the hub of the smartphone, as users will not only see Facebook notifications and messages on their homepages, but it would also become an entrance to access other applications as well. Users will be greeted by photos of their friends, notifications and messages on their homepage.
The new app will be available for download for few Android phones on April 12 from Play store, with others getting updates later. The initially supported phones are HTC One, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy SIII and S4 and Galaxy Note II. Facebook has also partnered with HTC and AT&T to roll out HTC First, the first phone to ship pre-loaded Home app. The HTC First will be released on April 12 and is priced at $99.99.
As most social networking sites, Facebook also faces challenges to improve its share in mobile advertising market as users now mainly use smartphones and tablets to access these websites.
FB is currently trading at $27.10, up $0.85 or 3.24%, on a volume of 63.7 million shares, on the Nasdaq.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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