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Facebook Wants To Take Over Your Phone Screen

Last updated on Friday, April 5, 2013

(MENLO PARK, Calif.) - Would you trade out your old phone for a new one that puts updates right on the home screen? Facebook is banking on it.

The social media behemoth on Thursday unveiled what it called a new experience for Android phones. The idea behind the new Home service is to bring content right to you, rather than require people to check apps on the device.

The entire display screen of the Android device is taken up with items from the Facebook news feed.

The service will include deep integration of Facebook services, including a feature called "chat heads." The idea is to let you communicate with your friends from that home screen, without needing to open an app. You can chat with multiple people at once that way.

A "cover feed" will replace the standard icons and buttons on an Android user's main screen with photos from a user's Facebook feed that can be swiped.

The announcement of the new device comes amid rapid growth in the number of people who access Facebook from smartphones and tablet computers.

More Android integration could help Facebook Inc. attract more mobile advertisers.

Though mobile ads were a big concern for Facebook's investors even before the company's initial public offering last May, some of the worry has subsided as the company muscles its way into the market.

Last year, Facebook began showing ads to its mobile audience by shoehorning corporate-sponsored content into users' news feeds, which also include updates from friends and brands they follow. Facebook now faces the challenge of showing people mobile ads without annoying or alienating them.

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