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Facebook iPhone & iPad app update adds chat heads, improved News Feed

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Facebook iPhone iPad app update

Facebook has updated its iPhone and iPad apps to add the chat head feature from Facebook Home and the improved News Feed previously announced in March.

The updated apps, which will be available to download from the UK app store ‘soon’, also include a new chat feature called ‘Stickers’. Stickers add a greater variety of emoticons that can be downloaded from the Stickers Store and used in messages to friends.

These updates to the messenger features of Facebook’s apps continue a trend to make its chat service, which competes against the likes of WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage system, the main alternative to traditional services, like SMS. In January, for example, it added voice message and video recording, while the recent launch of Facebook Home is its attempt to muscle in on the mobile market.

Read why Stuart Houghton believes Facebook Home should force iOS 7 to open up

Chat Heads & Stickers
In a blog post on its website, Facebook said Chat Heads keep chatting “even when you’re doing other stuff on Facebook, like checking your News Feed. Tap chat heads to reply, drag them around, or flick them down to close.”

Stickers meanwhile are just a way to brighten up your messages, although the reference to “get more stickers in the Sticker Store” suggests Facebook hopes to make it a nice little earner, too.

Would you pay for ‘stickers’ in your Facebook messages? Colour us sceptical on that one.

A new look for iPad
The iPad app, meanwhile, gets the re-designed News Feed demoed in March, which is “where you’ll see brighter, more beautiful stories.” Back in March, Mark Zuckerberg described the new News Feed as a "personalised newspaper" that will give people a greater, more detailed perspective of what's happening in the lives of their friends.

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