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Facebook phone rumours rise from the grave as HTC Buffy

Rumours of a Facebook phone are swirling once again, as the social network is reportedly involved with a new HTC phone -- codenamed Buffy.

Rumours of a Facebook phone are swirling once again, as everyone's favourite place to poke and play FarmVille is reportedly heavily involved with a new HTC phone -- codenamed Buffy.

Nerdgasm name aside, Buffy is reported by AllThingsD to run a customised version of Android, modified by the folks at Facebook to build social features into various aspects of the phone. It's also reported to use HTML5 as a platform for apps, which would in theory allow rockstar app designers to build apps that would work online, on your computer, and on your phone.

A similar Facebook phone furore erupted around a year ago, yielding the HTC Salsa and HTC ChaCha. They sport a Facebook button that bolts quick access to the social network on to the phone's features -- so, for example, you can share photos as soon as you snap them, or post a status update or message with just a push of the little F.

The thought of a Facebook phone seems to get phone fans very excited: aside from the pleasing alliteration, Facebook would be one of the biggest online players to have a crack at its own hardware.

Other similar ventures by online outfits having a go at hardware include Google, which developed Android, but apart from the flagship Nexus phones that's more of a starting point for hardware manufacturers. Perhaps a closer comparison is the new Amazon Kindle Fire, a tablet designed specifically as a portal for Amazon's movies, music and media rather than as a stand-alone, all-singing all-dancing slate. It remains to be seen how a Facebook phone would integrate social features into every aspect of its use.

What Facebook features would make the HTC Buffy worth buying? Stake your thoughts in the comments, or on our Facebook page.