Rumor: Facebook developing "Buffy" phone with HTC

Facebook is working with a well known mobile phone maker to develop a device that will give users a smartphone with some tightly integrated Facebook features. At least that's the word over at AllThingsD.com, which uses unnamed sources for its report on the upcoming Facebook phone. The social networking service has partnered with HTC to create an Android-based smartphone that will be modified to add additional Facebook features. The story adds that the smartphone will also have an HTML5-based service for delivering applications.

The report claims that the project has the code name "Buffy" (and yes, it's named after the movie and TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer). However the agreement between HTC and Facebook was only recently signed so the phone itself is likely to take a while to develop and released, perhaps as long as 18 months from now.

While there have been other smartphones released that have added a Facebook button to allow users to quickly upload content to their Facebook account, the "Buffy" phone will apparently have lots of extra features, as yet unknown, to give owners more ways to interact with their Facebook account.

In a related story, AllThingsD.com reports that Facebook's decision to use Android as the OS basis for the phone means that it will be using a product from Google, one of the company's biggest rivals. Google has recently launched its own social networking service, Google+, which many regard as perhaps the biggest threat to Facebook since it launched.

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19 Comments

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england_fanboy said,
There already is a Facebook phone. It's called Windows Phone.

I love Windows Phone, and I use it; I deem it the best platform, and one of those reasons is the Facebook integration, which I believe is better implemented in Windows Phone than any other platform.

Having said the above, Windows Phone still requires many, many more features before it can be considered a viable "Facebook phone."

There is still no way to view and reply to offline Facebook Messages natively (only messages sent and received while one is 'online'), no way to be alerted instantly when one receives any type of notification (I would like a toast notification and a notification on the lock screen, but just a toast notification would be sufficient), no way to tag friends when checking in, no way to manage Lists (I believe this feature should be integrated with Windows Phone Groups), no way to like comments, no way to see exactly who has liked one's statuses and comments, no way to tag an element (Profile, Page, Group, Event etc.) in a post or mention one in a comment, no way to view a friend's full Profile or one's own full Profile, no way to interact with Pages, no way to interact with Groups. Those are just a few of the features Windows Phone should currently have, in my opinion, although I would also like them to implement options to manage Profiles, Pages and Groups, and ask and interact with Questions. The official Facebook app will do some of these things, but not many.

My above paragraph didn't even touch on the features Facebook have recently added to their service (as I realise Microsoft haven't had time to add those yet). I would love to be able to view posts from the people I have subscribed to

Callum said,

I love Windows Phone, and I use it; I deem it the best platform, and one of those reasons is the Facebook integration, which I believe is better implemented in Windows Phone than any other platform.

Having said the above, Windows Phone still requires many, many more features before it can be considered a viable "Facebook phone."

There is still no way to view and reply to offline Facebook Messages natively (only messages sent and received while one is 'online'), no way to be alerted instantly when one receives any type of notification (I would like a toast notification and a notification on the lock screen, but just a toast notification would be sufficient), no way to tag friends when checking in, no way to manage Lists (I believe this feature should be integrated with Windows Phone Groups), no way to like comments, no way to see exactly who has liked one's statuses and comments, no way to tag an element (Profile, Page, Group, Event etc.) in a post or mention one in a comment, no way to view a friend's full Profile or one's own full Profile, no way to interact with Pages, no way to interact with Groups. Those are just a few of the features Windows Phone should currently have, in my opinion, although I would also like them to implement options to manage Profiles, Pages and Groups, and ask and interact with Questions. The official Facebook app will do some of these things, but not many.

My above paragraph didn't even touch on the features Facebook have recently added to their service (as I realise Microsoft haven't had time to add those yet). I would love to be able to view posts from the people I have subscribed to

Honestly this sounds so crappy. Why not just use it thru the browser yet. And why did they even bother to release the Facebook app if it lacks so many necessary features? sheesh

este said,

Honestly this sounds so crappy. Why not just use it thru the browser yet. And why did they even bother to release the Facebook app if it lacks so many necessary features? sheesh


Yeah, I have been using Facebook through the browser quite a lot; due to that ability, the lack of these features isn't too bad, but it's still annoying considering Windows Phone overall is the best smartphone operating system currently around. The Facebook integration is better than any Facebook integration in any other operating system (they even sync Facebook Events to the built-in calendar), but it still lacks all of those features, and the official Facebook app isn't as good as the official iPhone Facebook app.

how much more integrated can facebook than it already is with some android phones, or even wp7? the facebook android app sucks beyond belief.

Julius Caro said,
how much more integrated can facebook than it already is with some android phones, or even wp7? the facebook android app sucks beyond belief.

Friendcaster does compensate for Facebook for Androids unbelievable flaws!

Let's hope this phone won't be as much of a failure as the last one. Facebook could really benefit from a successful product, but so far they seem to keep missing the boat.

Has been rumoured a few times now.. I guess Facebook don't care about the OS it runs its phone on as they know Google+ has nothing on Facebook. And yes all HTC handsets have certain design blandness to them. Mind you the best in the hand and pocket HTC was the Mozart/Desire/Radar 3.7inch screen devices design.. was never intrusive, yet light, powerful.
I tip my hat to HTC on some designs, but most are pretty average. (design wise)

AeonicVision said,

So it'll look fancy and new for about 9-10 months, then have a sort of weird outdated look?

To me every HTC phone looks same.