Facebook’s stronger integration with phones is a hot commodity these days. Two recent devices, the HTC’s Salsa and ChaCha, have launched, now equipped with a physical Facebook button. Facebook is also promising dozens more mobile phones will be similarly equipped throughout the year. Facebook has officially shot down the idea of an official “Facebook phone” but promise to help with a deeper integration with phone software.
Facebook’s own, Charles Wu, discusses the new changes in an official Facebook blog post. It appears that different providers will advertise the Facebook integration in different ways; Wu writes, “Some manufacturers will be highlighting Facebook as a part of their phones’ on-screen interfaces, and others will use our brand as an element of the device hardware itself.”
The new Facebook integration will allow users to access Facebook Chat on their phones without actually having to install a smartphone application. Wu also explains the deeper integration regarding your Facebook friends on your mobile phone, “When you make a phone call, the screen displays your friends’ status updates and photos, and even their birthdays.”
Phone software that is this integrated with Facebook is both good and bad. It’s great to have all your friends available at your fingertips, but, to me, Facebook is going somewhat overboard. So many people are addicted to the social networking site as it is, and it’s getting easier and easier to avoid face-to-face interaction with individuals. This integration does, however, allow people to be reached at pretty much any point and time, at least when they have access to their phone, and let’s be serious, that’s pretty much all the time these days. It’s going to be interesting to see how the integration plays out on the different phones. I’m anticipating the effect that the Facebook integration with the software on some phones will be somewhat overwhelming, while others will find the perfect balance.