MakeUseOf! Why are you reviewing Facebook for iPhone just now? It’s been out forever. Get with the program, guys!
But let’s be real. The Facebook app of today isn’t the same app it was when it was first released. It’s a new kind of monster with extra features and a sexier design. Yes, it has the same basic functions that Facebook (and the original app) has always offered, but over time, it’s been redone almost as many times as my ex-girlfriend’s MySpace page.
I also know that some of you might just now be getting into the world of smartphones (yep, some people don’t yet have one – take it from us). You may have even found this article because you visited our Best iPhone Apps list. With that said, Facebook for iPhone is a great place to start.
Let’s take a look.
Let’s get this out of the way. You know what Facebook does, but how about a quick reminder of what the iPhone app is capable of, too?
- Post status updates
- Like and share items
- Comment on links and updates
- Receive friend requests and notifications
- Send and read messages
- Check-in at locations
- View and respond to events
- Check out nearby locations
- Communicate with groups
- Open games in-app
- View news feed (in chronological order or by top stories)
- Free calling
- View profiles
- View pages
In short, Facebook for iPhone does exactly what the desktop version does. These are the raw social features that you would likely use on a typical basis, but there are few extra minor ones too. For example there’s the introduction of Chat Heads, which are little circles featuring your friends’ profile pictures that can be placed anywhere on the screen for you to click on and carry on a conversation.
By all appearances, having those images on your screen seems as if it would be annoying, but I personally believe that the feature isn’t very intrusive at all. You can also add “stickers” in the conversation in the form of fancy smiley faces that add some flavor to your messages.
One major issue that users have with the iPhone’s Facebook app is the fact that you can’t delete posts that you have made. Seeing that this is the device most people would use to publicly share their thoughts about their boss while under the influence, this could be a potential problem for some users. While you can still use your desktop to delete those embarrassing updates, you can’t do it while on the go.
Facebook’s latest layout is very dynamic compared to most apps, and all of its touch features are very fluid. If you drag your finger from the left side of the screen, you’ll find a basic app directory that includes your events, pages, groups, games and more. Doing a similar move on the right side of the screen will bring you to all of your conversations. Touching the top of the screen will take you to the top of your news feed, and as already mentioned, you can drag your Chat Heads anywhere you like – pulling them to the bottom of the screen gets rid of them, though.
The text is clear, usually presented as black on a white background. Without going into too much detail, everything you see on this app is designed to match Facebook’s brand. This is the official mobile app, so the fact that it looks like the website is a given.
Overall, the layout is feature heavy, but it doesn’t present things in a complicated way. Everything is accessible, and all of your actions will likely be rather instinctive. Generally speaking, it would be very difficult to get confused or lost while using the Facebook app for iPhone.
If you want the full experience of social networking, Facebook for iPhone is a must-have. Then again if you’d rather not get bogged-down with all the extra features, you may want to give Facebook Messenger a shot instead.
Messenger gets rid of your news feed, notifications, and all the other features that Facebook packs in and leaves you only with the messaging function. For people like myself, it’s good to have both. Sometimes I just want to sift through my messages like email. Other times I want to read up on the latest local news.
For the most part, Facebook for iPhone is an app that will help you stay connected while on the go. It’s a must-have for your iPhone, and if you don’t have it by now, get it.
Download: Facebook for iPhone at the App Store (Free)
Do you like using Facebook for iPhone? Or do you stick with derivative apps like Facebook Messenger instead? Let us know in the comments.