Facebook and HTC reveal mobile phone collaboration

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ChaCha and Salsa

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared via video link at HTC's press conference at the Mobile World Congress 2011 yesterday to help launch a new set of 'Facebook phones'. Speculation that Facebook would be entering the mobile phone market has been rife for a long time but they have always denied that they were interested. Having finally broken cover on this collaboration with HTC, Zuckerberg was still keen to emphasise that these aren't 'official Facebook phones', but that HTC and Facebook had worked closely together on developing them.

The two models revealed by HTC yesterday are the ChaCha (pictured) and Salsa. The ChaCha will feature a QWERTY keyboard and front and rear camera, while the Salsa will be a fully touch screen smartphone. They will be the first phones to have branded Facebook buttons, which will be 'context aware' and perform a different function depending on what the user is looking at. The button will glow when the user is doing something that can be shared on Facebook: for example, if a photo is taken, the button will glow and, when pressed, the photo can be instantly uploaded to Facebook.

HTC Flyer

This high profile launch of HTC 'Facebook' phones comes shortly after an announcement by mobile phone manufacturer INQ that they were producing two 'Facebook friendly' models; not with branded Facebook buttons but with features that put "Facebook in their DNA". "It