Three years after the debut of its Messenger app for iPhone, Facebook has finally added an iPad version, making it available on the App Store beginning today.
The iPad app contains all of the features present in the iPhone app, including stickers and voice calls, albeit with a scaled-up user interface. The app utilises a two column interface comprising the user’s chat list and messaging window side-by-side, presumably for easier navigation.
Facebook announced in a blog post today that it is rolling out “a new channel for entertainment and game discovery” on its iPad app. The channel is essentially a new sidebar that will appear on the right side of the app when the iPad is rotated to landscape mode.
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.
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it will be adding a new song/tv show/movie discovery feature to its iOS and Android apps. The feature will apparently work in a similar way to music discovery software Shazam, based on the description in Facebook’s blog post.
According to Facebook, the feature will be integrated with the posting of status updates via the app, and can be turned off if the user desires.
When writing a status update – if you choose to turn the feature on – you’ll have the option to use your phone’s microphone to identify what song is playing or what show or movie is on TV. That means if you want to share that you’re listening to your favorite Beyoncé track or watching the season premiere of Game of Thrones, you can do it quickly and easily, without typing.
According to a new Financial Times report, social media giant Facebook is developing a new app that will allow users to send short videos to each other, similar to what photo-messaging app Snapchat offers. The development of the app, nicknamed ‘Slingshot’ internally, is reportedly overseen by CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself.
Slingshot represents Facebook’s second attempt to compete with Snapchat. Back in 2012, the company launched Poke, a messaging app that allowed users to send photos and videos to one another, but with a 10-second limit before the message disappeared upon receipt. The app failed to take off and Facebook was eventually forced to pull it from the App Store after three years.
According to the FT report, Slingshot will not be integrated with other Facebook apps, meaning that content sent over the app will only be available within the app itself. This is in contrast to its other messaging app, Facebook Messenger, which serves as a separate application but integrates with the messaging function within the main site itself.
Either way, Facebook will have a lot to do to catch up with Snapchat. According to a recent Business Insider article, Snapchat had an estimated 70 million monthly active users (MAUs) as of last month, with its user base growing by about 10 million MAUs a month.