Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
Buffy was the code name for a Facebook smartphone that integrated Facebook as its core platform. The phone was released in 2013 as the HTC First, available only through AT&T. The phone ran on a modified version of the Android OS, which was heavily modified to integrate Facebook's services. However, it did have the option of reverting to the stock Android 4.1 operating system.
This was seen as a major opportunity for Facebook to move beyond being a social media platform and toward becoming a key platform for mobile devices, but ultimately the phone was not well received, and was largely considered a failure.
The code name Buffy got its name from the popular TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." The first attempt at a Facebook phone launched in 2009 under the name Social Layer, which developers eventually shortened to Slayer. This name was deemed too violent, so when the project was relaunched in 2011, it was renamed Buffy.
The HTC First was considered a mid-level phone, and was initially offered at a price of $99. However, due to poor sales, less than a month after its debut the price was dropped to $0.99 when users signed up for a two-year contract. Two of the biggest criticisms were the operating system's unfamiliar feel and the low quality of the phone's camera.