Mike Isaac

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Sheryl Sandberg on Why Facebook Home Isn’t an Immediate Hit

sandberg2As you may have heard by now, Facebook’s Home software for Android hasn’t exactly taken off. Of the billion-plus users on Facebook, only about one million have installed the software to very mixed reviews.

But in conversation with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at our D: All Things Digital conference on Wednesday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg reminded us that the company is in it for the long haul — even if Facebook didn’t hit the software out of the park right away.

“We consider [Home] a v.1, a very early version,” Sandberg said. “We would love if we could put out a v.1 version and get everything right.”

As the early adopters have spoken, however, users don’t love every single thing about Home. The custom Android software takes over the phone entirely after a user installs it, relegating your existing apps to the back of your Android app tray while promoting Facebook’s social apps like Messenger and Photos.

Fortunately for Facebook, Sandberg said users do enjoy new features like Cover Feed and Chat Heads, and Facebook is working hard to take in user feedback and incorporate that into new versions of the product, which will be updated on a monthly basis.

But it’s not going to be an overnight hit. “I think it will be a long road,” Sandberg said. “[The smartphone is] an incredibly powerful device and social device. We believe that the phone will get reorganized around people — Home is the first iteration of that.”


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