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Nightmare start for Facebook Home as HTC First is dropped in UK

Facebook Home, the social network’s mobile venture launched in April, is already in danger of being derailed following a poor reception in the US and the canning of the HTC First ‘Facebook phone’ in Europe.

The software platform was unveiled by Mark Zuckerberg at a showpiece event in California last month and heralded as a major step in Facebook’s drive for a greater presence in mobile.

Heading up the launch was the release of the mid-range HTC First smartphone in the US which came pre-installed with the Home UI, but poor performance of both software and hardware has seen Facebook rein in its plans for Europe.

As such, mobile network EE has been forced to scrap its launch the HTC First in the UK, citing consumer response as the key factor in Facebook’s decision.

"Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customization features to Facebook Home over the coming months. While they are working to make a better Facebook Home experience, they have recommended holding off launching the HTC First in the UK, and so we will shortly be contacting those who registered their interest with us to let them know of this decision,” EE said in a statement.

“Rest assured, we remain committed to bringing our customers the latest mobile experiences, and we will continue to build on our strong relationship with Facebook so as to offer customers new opportunities in the future."

A positive reaction to the Facebook Home Android app may have reassured Zuckerberg and co amidst the HTC First flop, but user reviews on its Google Play download page remain poor. The app has an average rating of just 2.3 out of five, and bar one uptick, installs have declined steadily over the past month (see above).

Our hands-on with Facebook Home after its launch wasn't quite as scathing as many of the verdicts from US users, who took to social media to express their disapproval in the days following its unveiling