One of the many points of intrigue around Facebook’s future centers on the mobile phone market.
It has been reportedly working on a mobile operating system for its own phone since 2010. The original OS was shelved, then a new team came in, and worked on it again.
As of late, the reporting on the phone has died down.
But, right in plain view Facebook is assembling the core applications needed for successful smartphone operating system.
This week it rolled out “Facebook Camera.” Every smartphone needs a camera application. Facebook’s camera app, which has some filters and loads straight to Facebook would check that box. (It’s also about to own Instagram, which is a pretty good camera app in its own right.)
It has a “Facebook Messages” application. This would be Facebook’s answer to BBM, iMessage, or even text messages.
It has a Facebook app store. This would be its answer to the App Store, or Google Play.
And it’s reportedly interested in buying Opera. If it is going to have a mobile OS, it’s going to need a web browser. Apple has Safari, Google has Chrome, Amazon has Silk, and Microsoft has Internet Explorer.
Other core apps like contacts and a calender are already baked into Facebook. The only biggie that’s missing is Maps. Facebook is close with Microsoft, so it could probably get a Bing-based mapping app.
We don’t know when, or even if, Facebook will actually release a phone. But, if it does happen, it will have had plenty of experience figuring out the basic applications every smartphone needs to be successful.