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Facebook pushes Home as lock screen in Android beta release

The nudge to try Cover Feed is part of broader strategy to make Home into a more inviting place.

facebook home

Facebook for Android beta testers are getting a good glimpse at the social network's future plans for Home, the poorly rated software package that the company has unbundled so people can use the pieces they like.

Facebook is updating the beta version of its Android application Friday to drive home the point that members can choose to use Cover Feed -- an automatic panning, mobile version of News Feed -- as a standalone lock screen. The company has altered the setup flow so that app users can quickly and easily decide between using the Home app as just a lock screen, or as both the lock screen and application launcher.

The not-so-subtle nudge to try Cover Feed is part of broader strategy to make over Home into a more inviting place by separating the parts from the whole. CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised last week that Facebook would eventually poke its members to turn on the lock screen through the main app when the company is happy with the quality. With the new setup flow in the beta release, Facebook seems to be nearing its happy place.

The Facebook Home launcher has also been retouched in style and function in the beta update, a company spokesperson told CNET. The most noticeable change is that Cover Feed is no longer behind the launcher, meaning the lock screen and launcher are now separate spaces. With the changes, users can set their own wallpaper, reorder pages, and slide down to get to the app drawer.