Is Facebook trying to be the new Google?
Rumors have been swirling all week that Facebook is secretly working to build a smartphone and break into the mobile market. According to Bloomberg, three sources close to the matter claim that Facebook is actually working on not one, but two smartphones that will be introduced in the second half of next year.
“Facebook… is redoubling efforts to reach mobile users, many of whom access the site on smartphones. About a fourth of the company’s more than 500 million users log on to Facebook from wireless devices,” Bloomberg reports.
Facebook has repeatedly denied the rumors, but the company admits it is looking into making software that would be integrated into a smartphone’s operating system.
Regardless of whether the rumors of a Facebook smartphone turn out to be true, there is no doubt that the company is in the midst of an incredible expansion period.
Earlier this year, Facebook launched Open Graph, a tool that allows users to visit hundreds of sites across the Web and see what their friends have read and enjoyed. The goal is to connect all of these websites through Facebook and make the experience of those sites more social. In the process, Facebook has essentially set itself up as the window through which millions experience and use the Internet. This has led some to declare boldly, but accurately, that Facebook has seized control of the Internet.
But the company hasn’t stopped there.
Last month, Facebook announced the launch of Places, a feature that is similar to Foursquare and allows users to broadcast their physical location. As the Wall Street Journal noted, by allowing millions of users to check in to different locations, Facebook Places may “become a player in the growing Web business of supplying local information and advertising.”