HTC ChaCha and Salsa ‘social phones’ feature Facebook buttons
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HTC showed off its ChaCha and Salsa ‘social phones,’ equipped with Facebook buttons, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday.
The Facebook buttons lead users directly to the popular social networking website or post content to it automatically, depending on what is being done on the phone at the time.
The new handsets are among the first of what is expected to be dozens of such Faceook-integrated phones to come out this year.
The ChaCha and Salsa arrive after weeks of rumors that Facebook would release it’s own smart phones.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg again denied the rumors of a Facebook-branded phone, but he said greater integration and more Facebook buttons were on the way.
Both the ChaCha and Salsa run on Google’s Android operating system. The ChaCha features a 2.6-inch display and a full physical keyboard, while the Salsa has a 3.4-inch touch screen display.
HTC said the ChaCha and Salsa were developed with Facebook in an effort by the handset maker to turn more of Facebook’s 500 million active users worldwide into HTC customers.
The Facebook button on the ChaCha and Salsa is ‘context-aware, gently pulsing with light whenever there is an opportunity to share content or updates through Facebook,’ HTC said in a statement.
‘With a single press of the button, you can update your status, upload a photo, share a website, post what song you are listening to, ‘check in’ to a location and more.’
When a user snaps a photo, one press of the button uploads it to his or her Facebook page. If a user is listening to a song and presses the Facebook button, the song is automatically identified by the phone and shared on Facebook.
Facebook messages and conversations also appear in the ChaCha’s and Salsa’s text message and e-mail in boxes.
‘We have worked closely with HTC for several years on bringing Facebook to their devices and HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa are the next stage,’ said Henri Moissinac, head of mobile business for Facebook. ‘HTC has brought Facebook to these two new devices in an innovative way enabling people to connect and share easily whenever they want, wherever they are.’
Both phones are slated to release in the second quarter of the year. HTC did not offer specifics on price.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photos from top: John Wang, chief marketing officer of HTC, holds up the HTC ChaCha and Salsa phones during a news conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain; detailed views of the ChaCha and Salsa. Credits, from top: Denis Doyle / Bloomberg News; HTC