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Facebook forgets how we feel about Facebook, starts work on a Facebook Watch

I’d rather wear melanoma on my wrist.

facebook smartwatch
Image: KnowTechie

For years now, Facebook has been at the center of the discussion around technology as it relates to privacy,misinformation, and online toxicity. It’s a strange drug that we just can’t quit. And it’s creepy as hell. So logically, the thing we need from Facebook now isn’t regulation or the behavior expected of such a large force in data and personal information, but rather a smartwatch to gather even more personal information.

According to reports, Facebook is planning on releasing a smartwatch next year. The watch will do the normal smartwatch things like messaging through Facebook’s proprietary messaging services, offering health and fitness features, and surely not separating Facebook from the current privacy battle it’s engaged in with Apple. With this news, Facebook slides its audacity to new levels.

Facebook has spent the last few years proving that it simply cannot be trusted, yet users continue to pepper the Facebook servers with data from their personal lives, feeding their souls into the machine to be marketed to ad nauseam. Facebook has cemented itself as a social media company that does not really give a crap, making enemies of Google and Apple. Apple dominates the smartwatch market, one that the company wants to enter with a smartwatch it’s hoping will be the future of communication beyond phones. In that sense, it’s a logical move from a company that seems so out of touch with what’s going on in the world and how poorly it’s adjusted.

As if on cue, the company plans on using Android operating systems for its smartwatches (apparently Google doesn’t hate Facebook enough to disallow that), but Android smartwatches aren’t faring too well, capturing a small percentage of market share and WearOS is dying. The last update there appearing back in 2018. It’s doubtful WearOS will the OS of choice for Facebook, which means the company will have to make its own app store, filled to the brim with its own apps that collect the most data from its users as possible.

Aside from the creepy factor, Facebook hasn’t had a great history when it comes to its hardware products. While the pandemic gave Facebook’s Portal devices the opportunity to reach sell-out levels thanks to the unavailability of devices from Amazon, Google, and Apple, it still wasn’t very popular in the beginning. Sure, the Oculus VR is popular, but that was an acquired piece of technology. If you really want to make assumptions about a Facebook-branded communications device, just consider the short-lived HTC First. It lasted about as long as a trash bag being dead-eyed by a raccoon.

Facebook smartwatches will fail. This is an inevitability. It might be advantageous for the social giant to take the next few years to work on its flagship platform, clearing up misinformation and working to rebuild its reputation in the eyes of the government, regulators, and users. Facebook is not to be trusted, it has proven that over and over.

Releasing a smartwatch into a marketplace that hates it, while battling with Apple over privacy, while being chided by Google (a company that collects a lot of our data) is a middling distraction that won’t change a thing. A Facebook smartwatch is not the future of communication devices, a smart-device without Facebook is.

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