In the coming years, you may be running apps on a Facebook-built operating system. Depending on what you think of the company, that prospect may inspire fear or excitement. Either way, a Facebook-branded operating system is something the company is currently pursuing, reports The Information.
Now there is one big caveat to this: Facebook doesn’t appear to be targeting laptops or smartphones for their new OS (at least not yet). Rather the company wants to have its own dedicated OS for future devices, like augmented reality glasses that the company is betting will be very big in future years.
A reason Facebook is intent on releasing their own OS for AR glasses and other future hardware devices is that they want to lessen their dependence on Apple and Google and those companies’ iOS and Android operating systems, respectively. As Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of hardware, told The Information:
We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us. We don’t think we can trust the marketplace or competitors to ensure that’s the case. And so we’re gonna do it ourselves.
Of course, trust is a big issue here. While Facebook may not trust Apple or Google to make sure next-gen devices have room for the company’s apps, users may not trust an entire operating system made by Facebook that acts as the entire foundation for a device and the apps that run on it. As always, the built-in user privacy protections—or lack of them—could be key as to whether users would embrace a Facebook OS.