These days it seems like just as soon as we’ve gotten comfortable with the most recent changes to Facebook’s platform they end up rolling out a new update. As a bunch of tech geeks we just can’t get enough of that, but that’s not always the case with the 1 billion+ Facebook users out there. That being said, Facebook and Instagram (their recent buyout in Sep 2012) remain the top two mobile apps out there according to a recent study from Mobidia. The below graph shows mobile app usage from March 2013 with the average smartphone users spending around 450 minutes per month on the Facebook app and 300 on Instagram. Facebook’s mobile app has a loyal following – the stats don’t lie!
Well whether you like it or not, strap yourself in because Facebook has been making a lot of noise in the industry with all of its recent changes since the begging of 2013. With a big evolution of the platform on the horizon we can expect some BIG things moving forward. Personally, our team has been pretty excited to test out some of these new features for our clients and ourselves and we can’t wait to see what’s coming next!
The Times They Are A Changin’
Some of the recent evolutions to Facebook’s platform and digital experience have really begun to take shape in the last month. Below outlines some of the major highlights for what’s changed and what’s up next. Read below for some further details and highlights within each section.
- Mobile Chat Head
- Mobile News Feed Filtering
- Facebook Home
- Mobile Pages
- Graph Search
- Profile Layouts
- Facebook Phone
Mobile Chat Head
If you haven’t checked out the new chat features for Facebook’s mobile app your phone is due for a big update. This new chat redesign makes communication seamless while surfing your newsfeed with pop-up windows, intuitive designs, and even voice messaging.
Mobile News Feed Filtering
With the newest update to Facebook’s mobile app users can also now customize their news feeds by sorting of friends, recent posts, following, photos, groups, and much more. It’s a great way to filter down the mobile experience to see exactly what you want to engage with on the go.
Look, we’re not admitting we’re jealous of Android users…but as a team hooked on Apple products we have not been able to test Facebook Home yet and it looks pretty cool. Facebook launched an app exclusive for Android that provides an immersive experience right on your phone’s desktop. The app cycles through photos of friends, images from your newsfeed, and chat messages directly on your phone’s homescreen. It looks beautiful and has already racked up over half a million downloads! Check out the video below for a look at Facebook Home installed on the new HTC First Facebook phone.
Facebook has made local and mobile a big focus in the last few months. Recently they updated a global redesign of their mobile pages for businesses – giving Yelp a run for their money. As seen below, the new page layout makes engaging and finding local information much simpler and attractive. These changes are currently live for iOS devices and are expected to hit Android in early May.
Facebook’s new graph search feature was announced in January of 2013 and has just really begun to roll out publicly in the last month or so. This exciting new feature leverages Facebook’s Open Graph network to make searching on Facebook intuitive and personalized. The previously useless search bar (at least in this writers opinion) can now help you find out information about your friends, businesses, and followers in almost any form of question you can think of. Check out our recent article on Facebook’s Graph Search for a more detailed overview.
A few months back Facebook launched a redesign of the timeline profile layout. This new change organizes the profile to display all status updates on the right hand side and all other profile information, friends, photos, and more on the left. It’s a small change, but we feel it really helps organize the profile to make it easier to read when scrolling.
Ok…the elephant in the room. We all knew it was coming at some point, and frankly while we are not surprised we are not all that excited either. Personally, as much as I love Facebook I have no desire of dropping my iPhone for a Facebook phone. That being said, it's a new beautiful and social experience for your phone that I am eager to try.
Facebook has partnered with HTC to make the first phone with a Facebook built into the platform and full experience of the phone. While its still a new platform, it has been getting great reviews. Here’s a video teaser of what’s to come from the newest player in the smartphone game (we apologize for this guys laughably bad hair….)
So it looks like 2013 has already been a busy year for Facebook with many more big plans on the horizon. Personally we are excited to see what comes next. We are also excited to hear what YOU think of these updates and what you think is just around the corner. Share you thought on our blog or social networks.