MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Attention is on Facebook on Thursday as the social network announces a mystery product involving Google's Android operating system for mobile devices.
Facebook Inc. didn't say much ahead of Thursday's event, other than to say it involves a "new home on Android." Speculation has centered on a mobile phone made by HTC Corp. According to media reports, the phone would deeply integrate Facebook into the Android operating system, aiding Facebook in its aim to evolve from its Web-based roots into a "mobile-first" company.
The event comes amid rapid growth in the number of people who access Facebook from smartphones and tablet computers. Such a product could help Facebook attract more mobile advertisers. Though mobile ads were a big concern for Facebook's investors even before the company's initial public offering last May, some of the worry has subsided as the company muscles its way into the market.
Last year, Facebook began showing ads to its mobile audience by shoehorning corporate-sponsored content into users' news feeds, which also include updates from friends and brands they follow. Facebook now faces the challenge of showing people mobile ads without annoying or alienating them.
Facebook's event was being held at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
Here's a running account of Facebook's event, presented in reverse chronological order. All times are PDT.
Presenters include CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg talks about a new way to approach Facebook on phones.
He asks, "Why do we need to go into all the apps in the first place to see what is going on with the people we care about?" Better, he says, is to have that experience come right to the home screen, so you're always knowing what is going on around you.
He makes a comparison to the company's news feed feature, which brought friends' posts to a centralized place and reduced the need for people to check their friends' profile pages one by one.
Zuckerberg walks on stage and addresses the rumors head on: "Today, we're finally going to talk about that Facebook phone."
He then adds that more specifically, Facebook will talk about turning the Android phone into a simple, social device.