Social giant boosts mobile potential and releases iPad app
Facebook's had a busy 24 hours. The iOS app has finally been updated, bringing Facebook-style joy to the iPad as well as the iPhone. You can now swipe to your heart's content, finding out that your chums have bought imaginary cows for their imaginary farms, and that it really wasn't the brightest move in the world for you to have had that sixth pint after work on Friday when your colleagues had a camera.
More exciting news rolled out on Facebook's developer blog, with Luke Shepard announcing the extension of Facebook Platform on mobile. Shepard reveals that the synchronised platform will run across iOS devices, the web and, soon, Android.
Social channels previously mostly only available on the web and on Facebook.com apps will arrive on mobile, including bookmarks, requests, the Facebook news feed, and authenticated referrals. Facebook credits will also be extended to support mobile web apps, although, Shepard says, not "iOS apps or mobile web apps that are running within a Facebook iOS app".
These changes are particularly important when considering usage patterns for the massive social network. Shepard notes that of the 350million people who use Facebook from mobile devices every month, about half use native apps, and so extending their functionality is a must. And, of course, this update brings with it plenty of opportunities for developers.
"This is the API social developers have waited four years for," enthused Toby Beresford, co-founder pailz.com. "This will transform mobile apps in the same way that social has revolutionised the web."