Facebook has worked hard to force iPhone owners to install their messaging app. First they blocked private messages in their main app, then they blocked them on their mobile website. This forced most users who wanted to communicate with their friends and family via Facebook to install the Messenger app in addition to the main Facebook app. Unfortunately all Facebook apps are known to be both a battery drain and storage hogs, and most iPhone owners would be better off without them.
The Graphics Interchange Format, aka GIF, celebrated its 30th anniversary this week and Facebook took note. The social media giant announced that it would honor the format by sharing some details of the GIF's history on Messenger, making GIFs available in comments for everybody in the main Facebook app and throwing a "GIF party" by introducing a bunch of new GIFs featuring popular internet personalities.
Apple enthusiastically introduced Live Photos last September along with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The feature allows users to create short videos around their stills by recording 1.5 seconds of video before and after the still image. The resulting three second clip adds an extra dimension to the image, giving life to the moment. While many consider it gimmicky (and a storage hog), the feature certainly has its place and, like any other photo or video, fans of it will want to share their moments.
Facebook has been adding a lot of new features in recent months, including the ability to upload a short video (7 seconds, and it will loop) and set it as your profile picture. While this feature initially launched in early October for users in California and the UK, it is still rolling out and is currently only available on the iOS app. The feature is more widely available now and, thankfully, animated profiles will only show when people look at your profile page, so they won't clutter up News Feeds.
Facebook has rolled out an improved design for all iOS and Android devices. Photos are now 3x larger and posts in your News Feed will fill your mobile screen from edge to edge. This makes browsing Facebook on your iPhone much easier since you do not have to spend time waiting for individual photos to load.
The new Facebook design makes reading your News Feed easier, but they still left out the "share" button for iOS devices. It's also reminiscent of Instagram which Facebook acquired for $1 billion. The new larger photos ensure mobile Facebook users will browse their Facebook pages more rapidly instead of waiting for slow connection times.