Thursday saw Facebook address users’ grievances with its app for iPhones and iPads by rebuilding the app and making it a faster version rather than adding new features and cluttering the app and in turn making it slow.
Facebook demonstrated the new iPhone app which opened twice as fast as the older version. In the new version, photos and comments load faster. Users can now “like” comments on photos, which wasn’t possible with the previous mobile app. Mick Johnson, mobile product manager at Facebook, said programmers removed some less important features, such as a way to view the app horizontally, to help speed it up.
The iPad version of the new app now features Timeline, the latest version of the profile page that Facebook is rolling out to all of its users. The app is available for free from Apple’s App Store.
The mobile arena presents Facebook with its biggest challenge and its biggest opportunity and that’s where its user base is growing by leaps and bounds. At the end of June, Facebook had 543 million users who accessed it with a phone or tablet computer, up 67% from 325 million a year earlier. Its overall user base grew 29% to 955 million over the same time period.
But while Facebook ads are well-established on its website, the company only recently started experimenting with mobile advertisements. That’s been a concern for investors, who’ve sent Facebook’s stock down by nearly half since the company’s initial public offering three months ago.
Facebook to launch mobile ad system