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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 &
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

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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