Facebook’s new mobile venture gets few likes

FACEBOOK’S latest bid to encourage people to use its service more on mobile phones has been met with subdued reception since its launch last week.

The company’s “Facebook Home” technology, a new interface for smartphones running the Android operating system that makes the social network far more prominent, was launched in the US on Friday. It was hailed by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg as “the best version of Facebook there is”, but within hours of its release, the software received a wave of negative reviews.

Around half of those who chose to review Facebook Home handed it the worst rating possible on the Android app store and 24 hours after its release, the software had fewer than 100,000 people choosing to install it.

The software has been termed a “super app” for Android phones. It replaces a smartphone’s home screen with a feed of updates from a user’s online friends, and makes other aspects of Facebook quicker and easier to find. However, critics of the interface have said it makes other functions more difficult and that only unusually active Facebook users would care to use it.

Zuckerberg is hoping that Facebook Home will be a lucrative source of revenue, and plans to introduce advertisements into the feed of updates on people’s home screens. Since Facebook’s initial public offering last May, the company has faced questions over whether it will be able to grow revenues as people shift from using it on their computers to visiting the service on smartphones, where it is more difficult to place adverts.