Facebook, after conquering almost a quarter of the world's population (we mean the number of users on its platform), is reportedly working on a very ambitious new product – a mobile operating system of its own.
The world's largest social media network, which as of September 2019 had approximately 2.4 billion registered users, is said to be hard at work preparing what is being called Facebook OS and according to some reports, the Menlo Park based software company, plans to take on Google's Android mobile operating system with its Facebook OS.
In the later part of the past year, reports of a Facebook OS in the works started emerging and now it seems that Facebook may soon introduce it to the public, although details are still awaited.
Top Microsoft employee to work on Facebook OS?
It is still not clear whether the OS is going to be called Facebook OS, or something entirely different and if it is going to be a mobile-only OS or if it will be made available for other devices as well. But its almost certain that Facebook is working on something big and it has even approached Microsoft Windows NT's co-author Mark Lucovsky to work on its new operating system.
Facebook is no longer just a social media network, is turning into a software company after acquiring many software based companies and other social media companies which also includes WhatsApp. But a mobile OS all of its own is a big task, for a company which still relies on Android and iOS for its apps to run on. But it now seems like Facebook has bigger plans and wants to be an independent player in the game. However, it still remains to be seen how Facebook rakes up against the mighty Android which is the largest mobile OS in the world and iOS, which is perhaps the most secure.
According to a report in the Independent Facebook is building its OS from scratch, and it will be quite different from the Facebook app, meaning we may not see a lot of the white and blue elements of Facebook app in the OS.
Facebook is expanding
Facebook is also said to be expanding its operations further and it is a clear indicator that the company is looking to move on to its own OS. The move will not just make Facebook more relevant in the coming decade but it also make help its revenue.
Facebook's VP for Hardware, Andrew Bozworth recently said: "We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us. We don't think we can trust the marketplace or competitors to ensure that's the case. And so we are going to do it ourselves."
His statement clearly indicates that Facebook is not ready to rely on other software and potentially even hardware suppliers to remain strong on the game over the next decade.
OS will mean more freedom for Facebook
The Facebook OS would mean more freedom and flexibility for Facebook to improve and integrate social interactions. Sticking with Android and iOS will mean limitations and disagreements due to policies and terms. Then there's also the issue of security and privacy. So, Facebook could be seeing its OS as a means of not just better control, but better security and privacy for its users.
Facebook needs developer support
Its is also likely that a mobile operating system may not be the only option on Facebook's mind right now. It could also look at augmented reality and devices that use the tech such as AR glasses since there still isn't any reliable OS for those.
However, we shouldn't doubt Facebook's intent of making a mobile OS. But it could just be that Facebook may depend on developers to do it for them. This is also not the first time we are hearing about such an effort by the company. Back in 2013, Facebook was reported to have been working on a project called Oxygen, but it never quite took off.
Facebook last attempt at hardware and software integration was a disaster. If we could recall, a couple of years ago, Facebook had ventured into making smartphones but they turned out to be a big bust. The phones came with what was then a Facebook UI, but they didn't seem to attract a lot of buyers.
But this time around Facebook is investing a lot of money and resources and it looks like it won't come out with another half baked cookie in the name of a good OS. However, if at all Facebook comes out with a full-fledged mobile OS it will be quite interesting to see how it stacks up against Android and iOS, which have more than a decade long history of development and a huge user base.
However, the next decade could be different and we may see the rise of another more secure and user friendly OS, because the world of technology is ever-changing. It sure looks like a tall task for Facebook, but it isn't an impossible one, especially now that we have hardware players like Huawei, which too launched its own Harmony OS recently and is working on replacing some of the most popular Google apps.
Facebook too with the help and support of app developers and a solid portfolio of apps could likely take on Android and iOS.