There was news in Techcrunch that Facebook is building it’s own phone with a quick denial by Facebook saying they are not building their own phone but are working on tighter integration with phone platforms like Android, Symbian etc.
I think they should definitely build their own phone. Mobile is going to become the biggest delivery platform and they control their own destiny instead of relying on Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone which have their own social agendas that’s bound to undermine Facebook in the long term.
The concept of a social phone has already seen some traction in the market with the success of INQ, so they wont be wading in untested waters.
Facebook could work on improving the following areas to create a mobile user experience tailored towards social media:
1. Tighter integration with phonebook, extend access to Places with maps
2. Integration with photo and video gallery. Facebook is after all the biggest photo sharing site
3. Integration of their new features like Jobs and Answers
4. Integration of marketplace with mobile payment gateway like iPhone’s app store
5. Gather contextual data from usage habits of user (just like Android) to better market their features and ads
6. Provide better access to developer community to native phone features like alarm, scheduler etc to create richer 3rd party apps to improve the user’s lifestyle
These are just a minuscule number of things that can be leveraged by Facebook. I’m sure there are hundreds of other tweaks that will help Facebook but won’t be allowed by phone platforms because if their vested interests.
BTW, the conspicuous absence of links and images in this post is because I’m traveling and this the first time I’m writing a post entirely from WordPress’ iPhone app :)