Facebook’s betting a lot on its Home Android skin — but it looks like users aren’t biting just yet.
Yesterday, more than a week after Facebook Home launched in the U.S., the app finally reached the 500,000 installation mark on Google Play, reports Benedict Evans.
In addition to the slow growth, users are also tearing apart Facebook Home in their reviews. The app now has a two-star average rating on Google Play after more than 11,000 reviews, mostly thanks to more than 5,800 one-star reviews.
In comparison, the core Facebook app has between 100 million and 500 million installations and a four-star rating on Google Play. Instagram’s app reached 1 million downloads in less than 24 hours (and 5 million downloads in just six days).
The slow adoption could be related to the limited amount of handsets that Facebook Home supports (even though it includes incredibly popular handsets like Samsung’s Galaxy S III), as well as Facebook’s slow rollout strategy. Home opened up to U.S. Android owners on April 12, but international users didn’t receive it until April 16.
Facebook could be stress-testing Home’s impact on its servers with the slow rollout as well, so there’s a good chance it’s not sweating the slow adoption.
Judging from the negative reviews I’ve seen, it seems plenty of users were enticed by Facebook’s Home attractive design but were just overwhelmed with the social network tapping into every aspect of their phone. I have a feeling this will be the general reaction to Facebook Home — it’s certainly pretty, but Facebook may be reaching too far by prioritizing social features over basic functionality like making calls and using other smartphone apps.