NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here's the deal on the big Facebook ( FB) news:
It's not a smartphone. It's not an operating system. It's called Home, a new Facebook platform built on top of Google's ( GOOG) Android OS. It will come pre-installed as part of several forthcoming devices from HTC and Samsung. Everybody else -- with an Android device -- can download the new it's not an app, it's YOUR LIFE app from the Google Play store or, if you already have the Facebook app downloaded, just wait for a prompt to grab Home when it's released. This is a bonehead move by Mark Zuckerberg.
As much as I consider Facebook the real deal -- a mobile advertising powerhouse for years to come -- Home will have a net impact of ZERO or, quite possibly, something less than that. Mark Zuckerberg should know this! We live in an era where consumers of content have unprecedented control over what they consume. The how, the where, the why -- it's all in our hands. And I reckon we really like that. We have these devices -- smartphones, tablets, computers, television screens -- that start as somewhat of a blank slate. We routinely accept not-so-subtle suggestions on what to consume, but, beyond that, part of the beauty of the times is this element of control. You build your experience from the ground up. This move effectively wrestles control from the user in what appears to be a not-so-kind and gentle way. "Everybody" uses Facebook. But, it's a bit like we're all friends with benefits with Facebook. We want it around. We can't get enough of it, but don't necessarily want it to spend the night, move clothing into our closets or leave a toothbrush hanging from our medicine cabinets. By making it look like he's shoving Facebook down people's throats, Zuckerberg accentuates much of what many people perceive as negative about the already-ubiquitous social network.
It's intrusive. It invades privacy. It's trying to sell you stuff via more ads. It's overstepping its bounds. Zuckerberg told the crowd at today's event that Facebook thinks you will not need to use its app anymore if you install Home. That floored me. I think he's out of touch. Getting ahead of himself. Thinking too much of his creation.