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

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.