Facebook Home has been updated, with the new socially-enabled homescreen for Android smartphones now pulling in Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram content in addition to media from your friends list. The update, which hit the Google Play store today, helps crack open Facebook Home from its relatively insular beginnings to a more encompassing social-first platform.
When Facebook first released the Home launchscreen, earlier this year, the company attempted to make it a walled garden. Photos and messaging from Facebook itself would show up, but there was no support for third-party social services.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, that didn’t go down so well with users. The first “Facebook phone”, HTC’s First, saw drastic price cuts and then, when that didn’t help, AT&T and HTC axed the project altogether. Facebook, meanwhile, moved on to pushing Home as a standalone launcher.
That launcher, though, still treated Facebook as the center of its world, with little interest in anything else. As of today, those binds have been loosened: Flickr and Instagram means more photo sources flooding through to the lockscreen, even if your friends aren’t on Facebook themselves.
Pinterest and Tumblr, meanwhile, give Facebook Home some more depth, though Google’s social network, Google+, is conspicuous by its absence.
Although the Facebook Home app itself has been updated today, you may need to wait a little while before you can see the four new networks appear for authentication and inclusion. Facebook says it will be rolling them out to beta users first, though everyone else does at least get lockscreen music controls to play with while they wait.