Facebook Home tops 500,000 downloads in 10 days, review ratings stay low

22 Apr 2013

Facebook’s new Android feature set has entered the 500,000-1m downloads bracket on Google Play just 10 days after its release, but reviews from first users suggest Facebook Home still needs some tweaking.

Facebook Home was released on 12 April and has since surpassed half a million downloads. The Android-only feature set turns a user’s phone into a Facebook-focused hub. The home screen becomes a ‘cover feed’, featuring updates from Facebook friends, and Facebook notifications are displayed there until they are read.

The app also brings with it ‘chat heads’, which lets users chat via Facebook Messenger while using other apps. Message bubbles for conversations with different friends can appear anywhere on the device at any time, making it easy to dip in and out of chat. An update to the Facebook app for iOS incorporates elements of this feature.

In the grand scheme of things, 500,000 downloads is a fraction of Facebook’s 1bn-strong user base, and Google Play’s download figures for its original Android Facebook app are between 100m and 500m.

However, Facebook Home is currently limited to a small selection of smartphones, including Samsung’s Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II and HTC’s One X and One X+.

For the Google Play users that have downloaded version 1 of the app, reviews suggest there’s a ways to go for Facebook Home. Out of more than 11,000 reviews, the majority are awarding the app just one star.

Facebook Home reviews on Google Play

A breakdown of Facebook Home reviews on Google Play

On average, Facebook Home has received a rating of 2.2 out of five stars. Complaints include a drain on battery life, slow performance, lack of the customisation Android users have come to expect, and concerns over data usage, though the app does have its fans who are happy with its at-a-glance connection with their Facebook network and its user interface.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.