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Facebook and HTC Partner to Create Facebook-Specific Phone

HTC-Facebook-Phones1Since the time of Alexander Graham Bell and the early days of the modern telephone, we as a society have had a lasting desire for more and better ways to remain connected with our family and friends – which, if one thinks about it, pretty much explains why social media took off the way it has.

The rise of social media could easily be compared to the early days of the modern telephone, and when Facebook first came on the scene, it was almost as if the telephone was reinvented all over again. This would explain this latest and essential move on the part of the social networking giant.

Looking to move beyond the supporting role of today’s mobile experience, Facebook has reportedly teamed with Taiwanese cell phone manufacturer HTC to create a smartphone that has the Facebook experience at the core of the entire device.

“Mobile devices are inherently social,” said Facebook’s CTO Bret Taylor at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco back in January.

The phone, codenamed “Buffy”, will run on a version of Android that’s been modified to integrate Facebook’s own services and features. There’s word that Buffy will support HTML5 as a platform for applications, as well.

While Buffy is still at least a year away from launching, Facebook is said to have 350 million active mobile users and relationships with 475 global mobile operators. This makes their mobile strategy a top priority, and  includes efforts to deeply integrate the social experience, specifically theirs, into anything and everything mobile.

What Could This Mean For Musicians?

For the music industry, this is further evidence that a mobile strategy is a must for any brand and/or band moving forward. By now it’s common knowledge that a social strategy is at the crux of many online marketing plans, but once people move away from their desktops and spend more time socially on their phones, a musician’s e-commerce strategy needs to incorporate both mobile and social.

"Four people are born a second; 39 mobile phones are sold a second. By 2013, there will be more people accessing the Internet through mobile devices than their desktop. By 2014, mobile will be a $35 billion/year industry." - Mobile Roadie CEO Michael Schneider at Billboard FutureSound.

Perhaps Alexander Graham Bell had bigger plans when he invented the telephone in 1876. Being the visionary that he was, maybe he knew he was foershadowing something much larger for humanity with his revolutionary invention. With this latest marriage of mobile and social, perhaps we'll get to witness just what he had in mind.

This post is by regular Hypebot contributor, musician, and independent music business professional Hisham Dahud (@HishamDahud)