I read an interesting article this morning on CNN about why it wouldn't be a good idea for Facebook to release its own branded phone right now. The author argues that the time for a Facebook phone has passed. Earlier, Apple was out in front, and the Android platform was weaker. Facebook's mobile apps also stunk. It would have been feasible to create a customized Android platform that delivers a stellar Facebook experience and use the Facebook name to jump right into second place and start the war for first. Now, Android has grown much stronger under Samsung's wing, and Facebook has fixed its mediocre mobile experience by launching native apps. There's really no need for a Facebook phone now.
That's a perfectly valid argument, but I have my own. Thinking of a Facebook branded smartphone gives me the same feeling I had when Google+ was released. Google+ social results started showing up on top of normal search results, you'd get prompted to merge your Google+ info with your YouTube login, and then one of my friends pointed out that the was no way to opt out of Google+ when signing up for a new Gmail account.
Google+ was becoming pervasive. The changes made Google feel very sketchy in terms of how much respect they had for your personal information and it really turned me off to the company in general. Google+, Facebook, and others are just services that I use. I don't use them every hour of every day. I don't really want them around when, for example, I'm trying to look something up for work and I just happen to be doing it on my phone or tablet. When I get busy, social media is one of the first things that falls to the wayside until I have some free time.
Younger generations are probably different. Many people in my generation are probably different. For me, though, I like the services that I use like social media, news readers, and email, to stay in their own little sandboxes. Sandboxes that I choose to visit on my own terms, and are safely stowed away when I don't need or want them. I let Apple get its iHooks into me, sure, but I want my devices to be service agnostic when it comes to social media. If a Facebook phone is in the cards, it won't be in my deck.