A recent rumour in Techcrunch has led to all sorts of speculation as to whether or not Facebook will launch its own mobile phone operating system. Given the standard of spelling and invective on Facebook, I think we could usefully call this potential development the 'F-Fone'.
Because of the privacy issues spawned by Facebook every day, I wouldn't trust such an operating system one jot, nor would I be inclined to call someone who was running it on the basis that my number would probably be harvested without consent and end up shared somewhere in Farmville. In fact, other mobile developers might do well to build in an 'F-Fone' detector application so that we could be alerted and hang up.
Facebook launched Places in the US in August and in the UK over the last few days, rivalling mobile apps like Foursquare and Gowalla. With mobility on the rise, a phone operating system is not beyond the bounds of possibility and no doubt makes commercial sense. I just hope for all our sakes that people are not gullible enough to use it due to the amount of data likely to be harvested in the process. If you have any doubts about their ability to harvest information from people who do not want to use the Facebook platform, check out their community page fiasco, which I blogged about here. My vote for an F-Fone? Thumbs Down. F-fingers crossed it stays a rumour.