The Windows Phone OS offers deep integration with Facebook — better Facebook integration, in fact, than what you’ll find in Android or iOS. But there are still times when a Windows Phone user needs the power of a dedicated Facebook app. And because Facebook doesn’t yet have a phone of its own — though the HTC Status made a clumsy stab at it — the Facebook team is hard at work improving the social network’s experience on all mobile platforms.
Facebook outlined Tuesday upcoming updates to version 2.5 of its Windows Phone app. The updated app will add a number of features, including the ability to tag friends and locations, delete posts and comments, tap on active links in a post, and ‘like’ comments — a very popular request. The app will also feature an updated photo comments and likes page, and include threaded messaging in the Windows Phone Metro style.
“We read every comment you submit on Facebook, through email, and through the Marketplace, we use them to plan features for releases and we really appreciate all the work you put into feeding back. We’re listening :-),” stated an official Facebook update (in somewhat fractured English). And listening might be the best plan for Facebook.
Nick Bilton of the New York Times recently wrote a story about how both Facebook and Google are struggling in the mobile space. His thesis is that employees are essentially coddled into staying on campus, and therefore rarely need to use their mobile devices like the rest of us “unfortunates” who have to actually step out into “the real world” to find coffee, food and sunsets.
While not everyone finds this argument convincing, there’s no question that Facebook’s mobile apps need attention. In order to compete in the mobile marketplace and stay relevant, Facebook will need to improve its on-the-go experience.
And it looks like Facebook recognizes this — the company updated its Android app late last week and now we can expect a refreshed Windows Phone version coming soon. The company did not announce an official release date for the Windows Phone app update, only stating that it is “close to release.”
But will app updates give Facebook enough of a mobile push, or will the company need to release something a bit more grand, like a full-fledged Facebook phone? Or none of the above? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.