Facebook Portal is expected to be announced during F8 2018 in May and will start shipping sometime during the second half of the year. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Amazon and Google are both leading the charge in the smart home speaker market, with Apple expected to follow suit. Now, it looks like Facebook will also be joining those companies with its own device called Portal.

Portal is said to be a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Show. The upcoming Facebook device will allow users to control it through voice commands, and it is designed to work indoors. It will also come equipped with a camera with wide-angle lens and will be able to recognize people’s faces and link them directly to their Facebook account, according to an exclusive report from Cheddar.

The major difference between the Echo Show and the Facebook Portal is that the latter is designed to connect families and friends. The Portal device will have support for video chats and other social features. Amazon’s Echo Show is more like a blend of a smart speaker with a digital assistant with an accompanying touchscreen display to show visual information.

Like the Echo Show and Google’s Home smart speakers and Smart Display, Facebook Portal will have access to streaming services. Both Spotify and Netflix were mentioned as Facebook’s planned streaming services that will be available on the device.

Cheddar’s sources claim that Facebook plans to formally introduce Portal in early May during the company’s annual F8 conference. Facebook is expected to start shipping the device during the second half of 2018. As for pricing, people familiar with the matter claim that Facebook plans to sell Portal for $499. However, the company may also opt to sell it at a lower price to quickly grow user adoption.

Sources say that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t actually care if they profit from selling the device and is more interested in changing user behavior and have owners use the device like a phone. The report said that Portal will be sold directly by Facebook through pop-up stores and online.

Rumors of a Facebook-made hardware first popped up in July of last year when Digitimes reported that Facebook was working on a smart speaker that comes with a 15-inch touchscreen display. In August, Bloomberg reported that Facebook was already testing the device with a 13-inch and 15-inch variants and was heavily considering to use Google’s Android operating system. Later that same month, a report came out claiming that Facebook’s video chat device was codenamed “Aloha.”

Portal will be Facebook’s first major push in the hardware space since the company’s disastrous 2013 device, the HTC First, as pointed out by The Verge. The Android phone was created by Facebook in partnership with HTC and was designed around the News Feed. It was deemed a failure and was discontinued after only being in the market for just a month.

With Portal, Facebook seems to be hoping that its services will have room in its user’s homes. This will be a real challenge since Amazon and Google are both already in the lead in the smart device market. Facebook may have 2 billion monthly users worldwide, but that won’t matter if only a few of those will buy Portal.