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Facebook Home hits 500,000 downloads, users unimpressed

Facebook Home is flying off the virtual shelves, but users seem unimpressed, with half giving the Android skin a one-star review.

Facebook Home has been downloaded more than 500,000 times since it went live, according to its Google Play page, but users seem desperately unimpressed with the experience, with an average review of just two stars.

Home is a launcher, a kind of super-app that effectively takes over your Android phone, making updates from your Facebook friends the main thing you see, rather than apps and widgets. That doesn't seem to be many people's cup of tea, with 5,769 one-star reviews (out of 11,187 in total) at time of publication.

"I tried it, and to be honest, it just was too much," said user Nathan Watrous in a pretty representative review. "I would like it better if it was just the lock screen, but it gets annoying. Plus, it hid most of my other apps (namely Google ones lol)."

Those who take the time to review apps are obviously not representative of the millions of people who use Android phones, and roughly 2 per cent of users have reviewed Home. Many one-star reviews echo Lee Milstein, who says, "Cool way to use Facebook, but with no support for my other widgets, it limits my phone. If I wanted a single company to take over my homescreen appearance, I could use an iPhone." Miaow! Saucer of milk for table two!

That's the main problem -- you're swapping all your widgets for one super-widget. You've got to really love Facebook for that to be a good trade-off. But to its credit, it does make your friends' cover photos and links look terrific.

"It's just exactly what I want," says Caleb Longoria in his five-star review. "A simple, smooth, bubbly kind of home launcher. Don't need widgets... but I would love to see folders in the future, and maybe custom short cuts on the lock screen."

Facebook Home is available for the HTC One, One X, and Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and Note 2, as well as the HTC First, which comes with Home preinstalled, but isn't out until this summer in the UK. Watch our hands-on video to see it in action.

Now playing: Watch this: Facebook Home hands-on

What do you think of Home? Has it colonised your handset? What would you change about it? Let me know in the comments, or on our homely Facebook page.