Blackberry’s Facebook 2.0 App Emphasizes Photos, Chat and Places

Blackberry’s new Facebook application, Facebook 2.0 in beta, is a big improvement over the previous version, which was cumbersome because it was designed with menu after menu to scroll through to do anything. The new application is much more sleek, easier to use and faster, to boot.

Facebook for Blackberry now has an interface that’s much easier to navigate on a phone. When you open the app, there are two drop-down menus, one on the left and one on the right. The menu on the left includes most of the Facebook functions: News Feed, Profile View, notifications, search, messages, friends, chat, Places, photos and options. The drop-down on the right Blackberry calls the “notifications bar” shows you daily updates of notifications, messages, friend requests and chat conversations you have received.

Which brings us to the highlight of Blackberry’s new Facebook app: chat. The chat function is part of the left drop-down menu and is simple to use. If you’re not already online to chat, the app will sign you in, and then friends you can chat with are indicated by a green circle, just like on Facebook. You may either press enter or send via the menu each time you type a message; although chatting on a phone isn’t as easy as on a computer, plus, many people already communicate short messages on their phones via text messages.

Blackberry has also chosen to emphasize photos and Places in the new Facebook application. Previously, these functions were part of a menu that ran across the top of the interface, whereas now the default or “home” interface weaves in the upload photos feature on the left, status update in the middle, and Places icon on the right. Which is to say, Blackberry’s new Facebook app is designed to be as useful as possible to users connecting via mobile phone.

The app also creates utility by making Facebook more like a phone book, when users look up a friend or look at their profile the menu allows you to see their Facebook information — such as Wall, photos, information, poke, view mutual friends — but also to call them if you have their phone number, connect via Blackberry Contacts if you do not and request their phone number.

Comments and Likes used to be displayed in small print underneath each item in your news feed, but now next to each item is a + symbol which Blackberry calls the “more button,” which is where users can go to to comment or Like a post.

Blackberry wrote yesterday that more than 10,000 downloads had occurred in 24 hours since the apps’ release, since it’s still in beta, the company released 10,000 more. The update brings Blackberry’s Facebook app up to speed with recent platform changes, as the company hadn’t significantly redesigned the app for three years. For more news and market research to the mobile application ecosystem, visit Inside Mobile Apps.

[Images Via Blackberry]

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