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TheStreet Open House

Facebook Blesses Android, Damns Apple

Zuckerberg's message to the app development community: Work more on Android, less on Apple.

Can Apple cure this situation? Of course it can. However, it will likely take a lot of time -- not a month or two, but more like a year or two. It is not easy, even though more of the difficulty resides in Apple's political/philosophical domain, rather than in its technical. Apple believes in its "total control" of the experience, and to convert to Android's far more open philosophy will require swallowing a lot of pride and memories of Steve Jobs' old principles.


Facebook: Forty years ago, in the movie Magnum Force, Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood, said "A man's got to know his limitations." Facebook does not seem to agree. It thinks it is the center of the human universe, the source of all knowledge and good.

Facebook seems to believe that people want more Facebook, total immersion. Facebook seems to believe that people actually want to spend more time on Facebook than they already do. For this reason, they have created this new way -- on Android only -- to get even more immersed into the world of Facebook.

I think most people think exactly the opposite. I think most people are trying to spend less time on Facebook. Most people view Facebook as an addiction. They may not want to reduce their presence on Facebook to 0%, but they want to reduce it nevertheless. Perhaps cut the time they spend on Facebook by 30% or 50%. Basically, go on a Facebook diet. Not to starve themselves, but to become healthy again.

Today, whether you're on iOS, Android or Windows Phone, Facebook is one app among others. It's one of many buttons on one of the home screens. I think most people feel that's an appropriate place. It's easy to go there, but it doesn't take precedence over everything else you do on the phone.

Clearly, people are different. Some people want to binge on Facebook. They are addicted and they want even more of it. Greasy burgers and Las Vegas casinos do sell. People are addicted to all sorts of things. This new Facebook home on Android gives these people a place to binge.

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