“Facebook [yesterday] invited press to an event at its headquarters on April 4th to ‘Come See Our New Home On Android,'” Josh Constine reports for TechCrunch. “Sources tell us it will be a modified version of the Android operating system with deep native Facebook functionality on the homescreen that may live on an HTC handset. The evidence aligns to say this is the Facebook Phone announcement people have been speculating about for years.”

“It’s said not to be a full-on rewrite of Android, but rather a ‘flavor’ that will have all sorts of extra Facebook functionality built in,” Constine reports. “We’ve also heard it referred to as an ‘application layer.’ Imagine Facebook’s integration with iOS 6, but on steroids, and built by Facebook itself. It could have a heavy reliance on Facebook’s native apps like Messenger, easy social sharing from anywhere on the phone, and more.”

Constine reports, “With deeper control of a modified operating system would come huge opportunities to collect data on its users. Facebook knows that who your SMS and call are important indicators of who your closest friends are. Its own version of Android could give it that info, which could be used to refine everything from what content you’re shown in the news feed to which friends faces are used in ads you see.”

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