The New York Times is saying that Facebook is starting up it's plans again for a Facebook Smartphone. The use of mobile devices on the internet is going up and Facebook doesn't want to be left behind. The report is saying the company is so focused on this, that even Mark Zuckerberg is personally getting involved with the project.

The report goes on to say that Facebook has already hired a number of hardware and software engineers for the project. This is Facebook's latest attempt at a smart phone, with their first try back in 2010 and then calling the project off after seeing how much difficulty there was in making it happen. But now, they are back at it, working with smartphone maker HTC, and hoping to have something by next year. They started this project, codename "Buffy", about a year ago and it looks like this time around, things are right for it to proceed.

When Facebook reps were asked the question if they were working on a new smartphone by website AllThingsD, they came back with, “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers.” Basically the standard answer when you don't want to specifically answer a question.What ever happened to a simple "Yes"?

Between the rumors and fact that Facebook has hired engineers and have tried before to do something, and are now partnered with HTC, a smartphone designer and maker, we may actually see a Facebook Smartphone. Specifications and software for the phone hasn't been revealed. My guess is that they will run a Linux variant and modify it to their liking and integrate Facebook APIs heavily to make sharing your info much more easily done. Maybe even a modified version of Android? Once again, this is all still rumor but very credible rumors. So we may see changes in a final solution before it's all done.

But the one thing that is no rumor, is that Facebook is now a public company. That fact alone always make me think of my favorite joke: Why did they go public? Because they couldn't figure out their own privacy settings. As a public company, the pressure is on to find more revenue, especially with a lackluster IPO and a lawsuit they are fending off because of that crappy IPO and an SEC investigation. Good luck guys, you got a lot of work ahead of you.