Much of the original engineering team that created Facebook Home, including product director Adam Mosseri, is no longer working on the Android launcher app, according to a report that called the app's future into question.
A Facebook spokesperson told Mashable that the company is still offering Home, and has a team "dedicated to supporting it." However, the spokesperson did not comment on specific individuals on Facebook's engineering team.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines earlier this year when he confirmed Facebook would be releasing more standalone apps in the near future. True to his word, the company has already debuted two new ones in 2014: news reader app Paper and ephemeral-messaging client Slingshot.
But for all of its attempts to unbundle, not every one of Facebook's standalone apps have been successful. Case in point: Facebook Home.
More than a year after its much-hyped launch, it would be an understatement to say the app has failed to resonate with users. Home, which puts Facebook content on your lock screen, currently has more than 13,000 one-star reviews in the Google Play Store. Even Zuckerberg admitted the app has moved "much slower than we expected."
But should Facebook really be spending its resources on Home? By all indications, the company hasn't given it much attention: Home was last updated in January, and Facebook has made little mention of the app this year — despite previous promises of future updates that would add new features.
Although Android-launcher apps have experienced a recent surge in popularity, Home doesn't appear to have benefited much from the trend, as recent user reviews remain a mixed bag at best.
So why doesn't Facebook shut down Home for good? It wouldn't be the first time the company has shuttered an unpopular app. Facebook quietly killed Poke, its first attempt at a Snapchat-like app — and another flop — earlier this year.
However, while Zuckerberg said Poke was never really intended to be a serious app, he had high hopes for Home. The app debuted at a special event in New York after reports suggested the social network was working on a dedicated Facebook phone. That turned out to be a false rumor, and Zuckerberg instead revealed Home.
It was disappointing then, and it's even more disappointing now. It may be time for Facebook to finally admit Home is dead, and move on.
Tags: APPS AND SOFTWARE, APPS-AND-SOFTWARE, Facebook, FACEBOOK HOME, SOCIAL MEDIA, Tech