Many tech blogs are discussing the latest rumour about Facebook. Is Facebook about to launch its own mobile phone? Many writers have questioned the need for such a device in what is already a very competitive market. So the question is, why are Facebook considering investing money into a market that is already relatively saturated? The same question could have been asked about Google+, why would Google spend millions on creating this social platform when everyone is already using Facebook?
The Internet is awash with rumours about how Facebook was going to be deeply integrated into the iOS platform. It appears Facebook and Apple were once considering working together on such a project but for whatever reason it hasn't come to fruition. In the release of iOS 5 iPhone users were treated instead with Twitter integration allowing them to link various tasks on the phone such as taking pictures with their Twitter feed.
On the other side of the smartphone fence Google created Android and have their own phone in the form of the Nexus S 4G. This gives Google the opportunity to integrate Google+ in with various aspects of the phones operating system which will then be seen across the Android platform. What's more Google could potentially go the step of adding hardware to the device to further integrate their other products if they so wished.
So where does this leave Facebook? Ultimately without a dedicated mobile platform. This is why Facebook want to create their own mobile device. OK they do have some apps which work nicely on other devices but that's not full phone integration. Although it appears a risky move for what Facebook will get in return it all comes down to getting new users and keeping the ones you have. If you have a Facebook phone is it likely you would quit Facebook and move to Google+? Probably not. The more users Facebook keeps the more advertising revenue and opportunities they will get. Facebook need to protect the market they have and this is one of the ways they have of doing so.
It's not entirely clear if and when Facebook will launch a new phone but it's been rumoured for a while now. Perhaps they may collaborate with Microsoft in bringing in a new device, similarly to how Google have worked with Samsung on Nexus.