Facebook’s newest app: Rooms, for iOS

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Facebook’s Creative Labs team announced Thursday the newest app — Rooms, available for iOS.

Through Rooms, users can create spaces for content about whatever they want and invite friends. It’s also a great way to foster discussion about topics.

Facebook’s Josh Miller described Rooms as a throwback to the early web:

Inspired by both the ethos of these early web communities and the capabilities of modern smartphones, today we’re announcing Rooms, the latest app from Facebook Creative Labs. Rooms lets you create places for the things you’re into, and invite others who are into them too.

A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text – not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook – with a topic determined by whoever created the room. Early users have already created rooms for everything from beat boxing videos to parkour to photos of home- cooked meals. There’s even a room called “Kicks From Above” that showcases photographs of cool shoes in cool places.

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Facebook testing Trending on iOS app search page

mobiletrendingFacebook has been tinkering with search on mobile, testing variations similar to Graph Search, currently available on desktop.

But it appears that the Trending module has found another home on mobile.

Facebook is testing the Trending topic list on the iOS search page, as discovered by Inside Facebook reader Kristy Stevenson, Manager of Social Content & Community Development at Rockfish Interactive.

When an iPhone user goes to search for a page or a friend, below a list of recent searches is a list of trending topics currently popular on Facebook.

Facebook confirmed to Inside Facebook that it’s a test among certain mobile users, not a feature:

We’re testing improvements to search on mobile.

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Instagram’s Hyperlapse update: use of front camera added

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Instagram on Thursday announced an update to its Hyperlapse app (currently only for iOS).

Now, Hyperlapse users with the updated app can use their phone’s front-facing camera to take time-lapse videos.

An Instagram spokesperson described the update:

Creating a #selfielapse is as simple as tapping an icon on the app’s home screen, which toggles between the front- and rear-facing cameras. As before, a Hyperlapse video can be shared directly to your Instagram or Facebook account, or simply saved to your smartphone’s camera roll to access later.

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Facebook updates for iOS 8

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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.

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Facebook tests disappearing post feature on iOS

ScheduleFB-220x259Ever wish that embarrassing Facebook post you made would just disappear? Soon, you might be able to do that, as Facebook is trying to bring the Snapchat-like timebomb messaging aspect into the News Feed.

According to The Next Web, Facebook is testing a “disappearing post” feature with select iOS app users that allows them to post something and then choose a time when that post will expire.

Users can pick 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 2 days or 7 days.

Facebook confirmed this test in a statement:

We’re running a small pilot of a feature on Facebook for iOS that lets people schedule deletion of their posts in advance.

The Next Web notes that even though the post may be deleted from a user’s timeline, it can take up to 90 days to completely disappear from Facebook’s servers.

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Facebook testing video discovery feature in iOS app

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Facebook is testing a new way for users to discover more videos from their friends.

According to TechCrunch and sister site AllFacebook, Facebook for iOS users are seeing a prompt to watch more videos when the click on a friend’s movie. Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s something the site is testing:

This is a new feature we are testing on mobile to help people find more videos they might be interested in.

This does not appear on ads, only on videos that users have uploaded directly to Facebook, and not other sites such as YouTube.

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Facebook’s latest messaging app: Slingshot

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Facebook recognized that Poke was a dud, but it apparently isn’t ready to give up on new messaging apps. Facebook has released a new app in the iTunes Store — Slingshot.

Through Slingshot, users can take a photo, add images and text and other creative accoutrements, then “sling” it to a friend, who must do the same to see the image they received.

The app is listed in the iTunes store now, but it shows a launch date of Tuesday.

A Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook that it was mistakenly released early:

Earlier today, we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we’re working on. With Slingshot, you’ll be able to share everyday moments with lots of people at once. It’ll be ready soon and we’re excited for you to try it out.

The iTunes Store entry offers some more interesting details about Slingshot.

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Facebook testing Foursquare-like details on iOS app

FacebookiOSContextAn update Wednesday to Facebook’s iOS app borrows from Foursquare, showing detailed information — context cards — over the News Feed after a user checks in or after they link to something like a movie or song in a status update.

Facebook notes that this is a test that will roll out to iOS users starting today.

For instance, if you check in at a local park or restaurant, Facebook will show which friends have also checked in there and how recently, as well as photos from their experiences. If you post a structured status update saying that you’re listening to a certain artist or watching a movie, it will show friend who have done the same.

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Paper update: Share via Facebook message, text or email

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Facebook released an update to its news reader iPhone app Paper Tuesday, allowing users to more easily share the stories via Facebook messages, text or email.

The app has been well-liked among those who use it, earning an overall rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5). However, AppData download estimates show that Paper has fallen flat.

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Facebook announces Paper — iPhone app available Feb. 3

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Facebook’s rumored reader app, Paper, is coming to iPhones on Feb. 3, the company announced early Thursday morning. Paper is somewhat comparable to Flipboard, in that it’s a way for Facebook users to discover news and share it with friends on the social network. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in Wednesday’s Q4 earnings call that more standalone apps from Facebook are in the pipeline, and then the company launched one less than 24 hours later.

In a highly visual manner, users can scroll through the top stories of the day and see what stories their friends are sharing and talking about. These will include news stories from sources such as CNN and Huffington Post, as well as news from friends, relatives and other connections.

Developed by a team of about 15 people, Facebook is launching Paper first for the iPhone, and then will see what kind of feedback the app gets before considering rolling it out to Android or other devices.

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