Have you noticed a faster experience, iOS users? Facebook’s engineering team explained how switching from HTML5 to native iOS code improved the speed of the News Feed.
Facebook also rewrote the code for timeline, groups, pages, search and more, but noticed that News Feed got slower with each release.
Facebook’s Adam Ernst, in a detailed blog post, explained that the problem was in the data model layer:
First, let’s talk about how News Feed was designed to work on iOS. The Facebook APIs we use serve as a JSON representation of the stories in your News Feed. Because we didn’t want UIViews to consume JSON directly — there are no type safety or hints about what fields you can expect to get from the server — we create intermediate data models from JSON and used those to power the user interface. Like most iOS apps, we chose to use the system default framework for managing data models: Core Data. Already built into iOS and very well documented, it allowed us to get the native rewrite out the door without reinventing the wheel.
As Apple rolls out its iOS 8 update, Facebook is following suit, so iPhone and iPad users can have an optimized experience.
Facebook recently announced updates in concert with iOS 8, including easier sharing options, larger assets to accommodate the larger screen and updated location settings.
Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Product Management Director, described the updates in a Newsroom blog post:
Facebook for iOS 8 will have an improved experience for people who want to share content from other apps to Facebook. By simply tapping the share icon and selecting Facebook, you can choose to share a link to a website from your browser, photos or videos from your camera roll, and content from other apps. Facebook for iOS 8 will have an updated share screen similar to what you already see in the Facebook app. From there, you can select the audience you want to share with, add a location, say what you’re doing, or tag friends.
Facebook is adding a few things to the sidebar of its iPad app in the U.S. The trending news feature, currently on desktop, will be added to Facebook for iPad, as well a place showing trending videos (popular clips among people of the user’s demographic).
The app will also showcase popular games their friends are playing, as well as games the user has already connected with.
Facebook Software Engineer Victor Medeiros described this addition in a blog post:
In the latest update to Facebook for iPad in the US, we’re testing new ways to help people discover more timely and entertaining content on tablet. This update will surface content on the right-hand side of the iPad that’s relevant to how people use tablets today, which is primarily to read news, watch videos and play games.
More than 70 percent of people who use Facebook for iPad worldwide played a Facebook-connected game in the past 90 days. So we’re also dedicating a section of the iPad app to games people play, and over time, we will include ads where game developers can engage players.
Facebook is reportedly planning on bringing Graph Search to mobile, starting with iOS, according to 9to5Mac.com. The site reported Wednesday that Facebook will soon release a major update to both its native iOS app and Messenger.
The report suggests that Facebook is testing two versions of Messenger for iOS — one which looks similar to Apple’s native messages feature and another one (which will more likely be released) heavy on white space and fitting with the iOS 7 design.
Included in the newest round of Facebook updates for developers is a new software development kit (SDK) for iOS in line with iOS 7 and an official announcement about the new image specs in links. Facebook also announced that advertisers can reach mobile customers by leveraging iOS identifier for advertising (iOS IDFAs).
Facebook notes that advertisers can upload a list of existing customers’ iOS iDFAs and reach them with relevant content. This will be possible for any user on iOS 6 or 7 who has not disabled advertising tracking. Lookalike Audiences will also be able to target similar users. In May, Facebook announced App User IDs, allowing advertisers to define and reach people that have engaged with their Facebook-connected mobile app.
Advertisers can upload mobile advertiser IDs (either the iOS IDFAs or App User IDs) within the Power Editor and the ads application programming interface. Facebook noted that this has been one of the most-requested features from mobile advertisers, many of whom already leverage the iOS IDFA as a standard advertising ID for Apple users.
Facebook does not yet offer this capability for Android users.
Readers: Are you excited about this new feature?
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Not long after Apple released iOS 7 to the public, Facebook announced a major upgrade to its popular app for the iPhone and iPad. Facebook has improved the aesthetics and maneuverability of the iOS app, making it intuitive for Apple users.
Planning a dinner and a movie date night? Facebook can help.
The company announced Monday two upgrades to its mobile pages product: the ability to book a table on a restaurant’s Facebook page, and view showtimes on movie and TV show pages. While the table reservation feature is available for Android and iOS users, only those on Apple devices will be able to check showtimes for TV shows and movies from their phone.
Facebook partnered with popular reservation platform OpenTable to strengthen its mobile pages product, a Facebook spokesperson noted:
OpenTable is working with Facebook to allow individuals to book a table via a restaurant’s Page on mobile. From discovery to booking (whether it’s with Nearby or going directly to a restaurant’s Page), everything is within the native Facebook app – no need to visit a mobile site or open OpenTable’s app. This feature is available on Pages of restaurants that support OpenTable in the U.S.(~20K restaurants). This integration will open up OpenTable to more people on Facebook, as you don’t need to be an OpenTable member to book a table on mobile Pages.
Another major mobile update: hashtags are now live on the iOS native app.
Earlier this year, Facebook took a page from Twitter’s book and launched verified profiles, so users can know that they’re really getting updates from a celebrity or prominent person.
With the newest iOS app update, launched Wednesday, Facebook brings that verification to mobile. Now when a Facebook user on their iPhone or iPad sees the timeline of a celebrity (or searches their name), they’ll see the blue verified checkmark. Public figures and major brands also get the verification stamp.
Other fixes in version 6.3 of the iOS app:
- Improved places editing to fix categories, phone numbers and other info on iPad.
- Implemented a fix for a problem that was causing News Feed to load slowly for some people.
At its annual developer’s conference, Apple has announced iOS 7, a complete revamp of its mobile operating system. Sporting a new, flatter look, the company has made significant updates to all facets of the operating system, including more robust image sharing capabilities and upgraded multitasking support.
Facebook is No. 1 most downloaded iPhone app of all time – Celebrating 50 billion total downloads across the App Store this week, Apple released new all-time most downloaded apps with Facebook at No. 1 of the free iPhone downloads list. Instagram is No. 3 and Messenger is No. 16. Compared to Facebook’s three, Google has four apps in the top 25: YouTube, Google, Google Earth and Google Maps.
Among free iPad downloads, Facebook is No. 6, with Skype at No. 1.
Facebook courts media with new portal – Facebook has launched a new section of its developer site to focus on how media and journalists can best use the platform for distribution. It gives an overview of possible website integrations, such as the Like button, Facebook Comments and Open Graph optimization. It also offers best practices for managing Facebook pages, along with related research reports and case studies. Slate, for example, doubled its referral traffic from Facebook between the second quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 by adding a new share button to its stories, optimizing its Open Graph tags and focusing on its page strategy.
Microsoft to redesign Facebook for Windows Phone – Microsoft announced this week that it would open the Windows Phone Beta app program to give users an opportunity to test the latest redesign of its Facebook app. Unlike Facebook for iOS and Android, which are developed internally by Facebook, the app for Windows Phone is created by Microsoft. The beta app will get Timeline, the share button and more high resolution photos.
Facebook looks to expand Dublin operation with new office – Facebook has agreed to rent office space with room for at least 800 people in a building in Grand Canal Square in Dublin, according to Independent.ie. The company recently said it would be adding 100 employees to its Dublin headquarters, which is currently around 400 people. The new office would give the company room to grow. The Daniel Libeskind building where the new office will be is in an area sometimes referred to as Dublin’s ”Silicon Square Mile.” Google has an office nearby.