Facebook fails to produce mythical phone

World’s biggest social network ups the stakes in location and makes a beeline for your wallet

Facebook made headlines when it sent out invites to its mobile event, leading the more excitable corners of the internet to drill up rumours of a Facebook phone.

But in the aftermath of the presentation, only two things have been confirmed. Firstly, that there is no Facebook phone. And secondly, that The Social Network, the biopic of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s early success, is utter fiction.

In the film, he is presented as a man with scant interest in making money from his massively popular social network. In real life, he is turning Facebook into the McDonald’s of the web.

The good news is that Facebook’s historically flagging Android app is getting an update which will bring it “back to parity” with its iPhone sibling. The iOS version will also be getting an update.

More good news: the updates will bring single-click login, saving you the bother of tapping at your phone’s touchscreen keyboard to put in a password every time you want to check stuff. It’s also adding groups and improving tagging and the ability to check in to Facebook Places – the location-based wing of the service – with a picture.

But if you weren’t that keen on Places, Facebook’s location-based services, look away now.

The company is pumping up its location effort so that other apps and services will be able to use Facebook’s location data (with your say-so, naturally). Facebook apparently sees itself becoming more of a mobile web platform than just an app. To take the edge off, a part of that will allow you to sign into other apps with your single-click Facebook login.

And then there are the deals. Facebook is appealing to the voucher lover in all of us, luring us with promises of free jeans and half-price coffee.

It looks like us Europeans will get a bit of a delay before this kicks in – the partners are largely American fast food and retail giants – but it’ll come here soon enough.

What are your thoughts? Do you want more location stuff? Would you sell out for a free drink? Would you tag your friends to get it? Do you think Facebook is the future? Or are you thinking about going back to MySpace? If you’re on Facebook, you have an opinion – drop a line in the comments box...

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