Speculation is growing by the day that social networking giant Facebook is trying to partner with HTC to jointly develop a smartphone that could be in production by next year. When approached, Facebook refused a direct comment but said in a statement that it is indeed developing a strategy for mobile phones and believes that every smartphone is more functional if it is social and believes integration with social networks is going to do the trick. It went on to say that it is trying to partner with the entire industry from operators to manufacturers to increase the spread of social networks.
For several months now, it was speculated that Facebook is developing its own smartphone. In fact, only last November, a rumor floated claiming that HTC and Facebook were jointly developing a new phone, codenamed “Buffy”. It went on to say that the device would be running a modified version of Android while Facebook confirmed in an exclusive interview that it negotiated with manufacturers and carriers about the development and marketing of a Facebook branded phone.
The main reason why Facebook seems eager to develop its own smartphone is to increase its ad revenues from mobile devices. While the number of users accessing the social network from mobile phones and other devices has drastically increased over the last year, ad revenues for the company from mobile sources have not been too great. In fact, none of its advertising sales in 2012, which amount to a whopping $3.15 billion, were generated from mobile devices. It looks like Facebook is having some sort of trouble in mapping the regular advertisements onto its mobile phone applications and is therefore looking for an alternative in terms of a Facebook branded device.
If this device is to be released, in all probability it will work by capitalizing on users who regularly use Facebook on their phones. Since a smartphone is ubiquitous, Facebook regulars will look forward to one that seamlessly integrates the social network onto it. While there are applications for popular platforms, they are not as smooth as the web experience and Facebook is working on that aspect too, looking to improve the performance of its iOS application with the help of a team of programmers who used to be a part of Apple.