To get Home, simply go to Google’s online Play store when it’s available. Those with Facebook apps on the phone already will get a prompt to download it. The software will be updated with new features monthly.
It will be available April 12 on certain phones initially.
Facebook isn’t making Home for tablet devices for several months, though.
Zuckerberg tells the audience, ‘‘We are really proud of Home and we are excited to get (it) into your hands. We think this is the best version of Facebook there is.’’
Flynn unveils a feature called chat heads. The idea is to let you communicate with your friends from that home screen, without needing to open an app. You can chat with multiple people at once that way.
Mosseri describes one of the main features of the new service. It’s called cover feed.
He notes that when people look at their phones now, they typically see a clock and perhaps the snippet of an email. That will change if you have the Home service activated. As soon as you turn on your phone, you'll see photos. You can swipe from one to the next from the home screen.
The new service is called Home. Pictures from your Facebook news feed would take up the entire display screen. Zuckerberg says you'll be seeing the world through people rather than apps.
He gives an example of standing in line at a store and looking down at the phone to see photos of friends and family. It'll be possible to flip through the items. If there’s something you like, just double tap on it to ‘‘like’’ it. You can also add comments from the home screen.
With this, Facebook doesn’t believe you'll need to go to the Facebook app any more.
Zuckerberg says Facebook isn’t building a Facebook phone, saying a Facebook-centered device might sell 10 million to 20 million units at best. Rather, it’s building on the existing Android system to bring this experience to a wider group of Android users.
Zuckerberg talks about a new way to approach Facebook on phones.
He asks, ‘‘Why do we need to go into all the apps in the first place to see what is going on with the people we care about?’’ Better, he says, is to have that experience come right to the home screen, so you’re always knowing what is going on around you.
He makes a comparison to the company’s news feed feature, which brought friends’ posts to a centralized place and reduced the need for people to check their friends’ profile pages one by one.
Zuckerberg walks on stage and addresses the rumors head on: ‘‘Today, we’re finally going to talk about that Facebook phone.’’
He then adds that more specifically, Facebook will talk about turning the Android phone into a simple, social device.