You can now search for text in images on Google Photos, a report by 9to5Google revealed on Thursday. “You spotted it! Starting this month,…
Err. So. Facebook’s big mobile app-slash-operating system bet doesn’t seem to be paying off as yet. It’s been a month since Facebook Home was released, but only around 0.1% of the social network’s 1.11-billion monthly active users have installed the app — and the hype seems to be fading fast.
Home, the free Android launcher which is designed to bring your friend’s updates to your lockscreen and let Facebook messenger chatheads follow you around your phone, hit half a million installs a week after it launched on April 12. It passed the 1-million installations mark on Google Play late last week, but, as the app store’s installation graph shows, the popularity of the app has largely declined after the initial spikes in mid April.
Home is hardly compatible with every Android phone out there — it’s currently only available for the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S IV, Samsung Galaxy Note II, HTC One, HTC One X and HTC One X+ and comes pre-installed on the HTC First — but with an average two star rating and a million installs from a network with a user base of millions, the app is not what you’d call a smash hit.
Insights from app analytics services like App Annie and Distimo. App Annie’s data suggests that while Home quickly rose in popularity soon after its launch — reaching the top 100 on the Google Play charts in countries like the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, South Africa and Brazil — it quickly lost its place as the month progressed. While it varies from country to country, Facebook Home isn’t even continuing its streak in its home nation — it is currently ranked 211 in Google Play, while it holds even lower positions in countries like Brazil, where it has slipped down to position 401 in the app rankings. Home hasn’t been able to return to the top 100 mark in any country as yet.
Meanwhile, insights from app analytics provider Distimo (via TechCrunch) show just how much the app’s popularity dipped from 24 April (less than two weeks after it launched) until last week (specifically, May 8). Although it was still ranked in the top 500 apps in a number of countries and relatively popular in countries like Luxembourg, Norway and South Africa, it dropped hundreds of places in the app store rankings in the time period.
Although Facebook gradually plans on rolling out Home to more devices and adding improvements, which could see these numbers improve, it hasn’t got off to a good start. The app has been plagued by bad reviews as users say things like “uninstalled after 1 minute” and offer other users tips on how to bypass Facebook’s coverfeed in favour of the standard Android homescreen. In addition to that, the price of the HTC First — the phone that comes with the app pre-installed — has been cut from US$99 to just US$0.99 in a bid to boost sales. I guess those ads with Zuckerberg and a screaming goat just weren’t enough to sway the masses.