Facebook Home isn’t quite dead yet. You can still download it in the Google Play Store. Facebook hasn’t made any official announcements about abandoning Home.
But according to a report from The New York Times, Facebook Home is on its last legs.
Sources tell the Times’ Bits blog that Facebook has disbanded the crew of engineers responsible for working on Home.
Facebook Home was launched at a big press event a little over a year ago. Described as a “mobile experience that puts your friends at the heart of your phone,” Home is basically Facebook’s attempt to take over your Android device. Home is an OS-lite, an app suite that pretty much turns any phone into a “Facebook Phone” by putting a constant stream of Facebook content front-and-center on your smartphone’s homescreen.
Despite the initial fanfare and strong download figures, Facebook Home suffered from very poor reviews. By the time Facebook Home hit 500,000 installs, over half the reviews were of the dreaded one-star variety. Shortly after its launch, the first phone built with Facebook Home already pre-installed was price-cut and then faded into oblivion.
It was clear, pretty early on, that Facebook Home wasn’t poised to take over anything.
To be fair, the team responsible for Facebook Home hasn’t really been working hard to push the software onto more devices. The last update Facebook Home received was way back in January.
Facebook isn’t afraid to kill poorly-performing apps, so if Home gets the official ax sometime in the near future, nobody should be all that surprised.