HTC's Facebook button is the Start of Something Big

Yesterday HTC announced two new phones the ChaCha and the Salsa. Each included a new and unique implementation with the social networking giant Facebook. As I listened to HTC CMO John Wang talk about how deeply they integrated the Facebook experience into these devices I became convinced they are on to something.

HTC, in my opinion, is in the top tier of companies that are innovating within the mobile sector. The level of thought they put into the experience consumers have with their phones is impressive and refreshing. This thinking is what led them to take another step forward and add deep Facebook integration into two of their latest devices.

Our Social Fabric

Like mobile phones, Facebook is now so deeply woven into our social fabric that it is hard to imagine a world without it. Facebook has more than 500 million active global users, 200 million of which are also actively using Facebook on mobile devices. People that use Facebook on mobile devices are twice as active as non-mobile users. From that perspective it makes complete "Sense" that HTC would integrate a service like Facebook so deeply into their mobile phone experience.

Telephony brought a paradigm shift in the way we communicate as a human race and Facebook again brought a paradigm shift in the way the Internet can be used to connect the human race. Communicating and connecting is at the core of our needs and the innovations in mobile computing continue to advance and enhance those needs.

Facebook is to Consumers what Email is to the Enterprise

If you are like me and e-mail is at the center of how you work you will relate to this analogy. I recall my first job at Cypress Semiconductor and getting set up with corporate e-mail for the first time. After about the first week I was addicted since the core of my job relied on being able to communicate with all who were tasked with my project. My email experience again changed drastically the first time I was set up with a mobile device that was connected to my work email allowing me to get email anywhere and any time.

As email is at the core of the fabric of how enterprises work so is Facebook becoming the center of how consumers connect. This is why mobile Facebook users are more active than non-mobile users. What makes the ChaCha and Salsa unique is not that they are just two new devices that allow you access to Facebook while mobile but that Facebook is an active part of the entire device experience.

The hardware and software created on these devices assume you want to do more than access the mobile version of Facebook on your device. These devices have what I would call an intelligent Facebook integration.

Consumers who use either of these devices, I feel, will have as profound a moment with this Facebook integration as many of us did the first time we got access to wireless email. If mobile Facebook users are twice as active now than non-mobile users, I would fully expect those consumers who use the ChaCha and Salsa to be even more active mobile Facebook users.

HTC may have very well just set a new bar on how consumers will begin to think about how their mobile device fits into their life. These two new devices present more than just a phone with access to apps and the mobile web. They represent what may be the start of a true mobile social experience.