ScreenshotIf Facebook's new "Home" phone system becomes popular, it could be a huge threat to independent app developers whose products are downloaded in the Google Play app store.
That's because Home essentially functions as a phone operating and organizing system, and users will have to click through an extra layer of Facebook stuff to get to the apps section of their phones.
Any extra layer of stuff can vastly reduce the number of users who open apps or discover new ones.
By amazing coincidence, one of Facebook's most powerful ad products is its mobile app install ad format, which app developers use to promote their apps in people's Facebook news feeds.
Could it be that Facebook wants app developers, and the users they target, to go through Facebook for app discovery?
Messaging apps are most directly threatened, because Facebook Home allows people to continue texting each other even while other things — the web, maps, etc. — are running in the background.
Android apps that don't integrate with Facebook's application programming interface (API) could also face doom if Home becomes popular on Android, according to Venture Beat:
It’s gorgeous and comes with tons of innovative new features, but it just might be the death knell for developers whose Android apps don’t integrate with any of Facebook’s APIs.
Who could save them?
Facebook, of course! According to Android Authority, Facebook said:
With Home, people can immediately access your app content from their News Feed once they turn on their phone. We also make it easy for people to engage with your content as they can simply double tap to like a post and comment right from cover feed.
Sure, all that could happen. But if developers really want to make sure that everyone on Facebook knows about their apps, then there's only one real way to achieve that: Facebook mobile app install ads.
Disclosure: The author owns Facebook stock.
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