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Facebook to reinvent Android with Facebook Home

Facebook's new version of Android is set to be called Facebook Home, taking over your phone's homescreen.

Facebook is coming for your homescreen. The social network's new version of Android is rumoured to be called Facebook Home, and will take over your Android phone's home screen to display updates from your friends.

According to 9to5Google, Facebook Home is the name for software that will integrate Facebook features such as Messenger, photos, and contacts into your Android phone.

Mark Zuckerberg and co are hosting a press conference on Thursday, heralded by the tagline 'Come See Our New Home on Android', giving a clue to the name.  

Facebook Home will apparently work like the skins added by manufacturers on top of Google's Android software, to customise the look and feel. Skins like Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense add features and distinguish each manufacturer's phones from other Android devices.

Speaking of HTC, reports say HTC will be first to put Facebook Home into a phone. Finally: the Facebook phone that's been rumoured for ages.

The idea is to encourage you to spend more time on Facebook, so as to increase the money Facebook can make from showing you adverts. Despite the rise of smart phones and tablets to make mobile a crucial part of the technology landscape, mobile devices are the weakest part of Facebook's business. In fact, when taking the company public last year, Facebook revealed that the social network makes no money at all from mobile devices. Zilch, zip, nada from all those iPhones, iPads, Samsung Galaxy S3s and other Android devices.

As more and more of us check up on our friends on phones and tablets, Facebook clearly has to wring some cash out of mobile devices. This looks like the first step in that direction.

What's your favourite Facebook app? Update your status in the comments or head on over to our shiny Facebook page.