The Official Facebook App Reviewed532,847
Facebook is, for all intents and purposes, one of the largest social media platforms in today’s society. With over 1.5 billion users worldwide, it has surpassed many of its competitors, and is now an established virtual hub for families, friends, businesses and celebrities to use.
Facebook’s natural progression was, of course, the development of an app- and in late 2010 the official app was released. Since its launch nearly 6 years ago, the official app has undergone a series of upgrades and updates. Today, it stands as a multifaceted app downloaded by hundreds of thousands of Android and Apple users. The real question is, however, whether the Facebook app could ever fare quite as well as its web based predecessor- and below we review some of its main features in an attempt to answer this.
On both Android and Apple devices, the Facebook App seems to work well in terms of functionality. The biggest issue that tends to affect most users is the fact that the app has no messaging function. In order for users to send or check messages, they must also download the Messenger app. This can prove a little irritating, considering the fact that supplementary apps use unnecessary memory and battery life. However, overall, the app provides all the functionality you would expect. It allows you to share, like and comment on posts. You can save links that interest you; as of late you can react to posts you feel strongly about; you can also unfollow pages and turn on or off notifications for posts. There isn’t a functionality that is obviously lacking, and this is a definite plus for Facebook. Many users have reported functionalities that do annoy them, however, such as how videos are now placed on a type of ticker- that automatically plays an unrelated video immediately after the one you are watching finishes. A major issue for users is also the fact that posts on the timeline aren’t placed in chronological order, meaning most recent posts aren’t always at the top of the list. This means that users can miss relevant and recent posts, and instead be forced to read outdated listings.
Over the years, the Facebook app has undergone a series of redesigns. Originally, the app was designed to appear very similar to the original website, with a toolbar at the top and a sidebar to the left of the screen. In time, however, the app became very focused on the timeline aspect of the social media platform- and was redesigned to predominantly feature posts. This design will appeal primarily to users who use the app for reading articles and keeping up to date with friends. The design is very image heavy, and images or videos are likely to overshadow text on your screens. Videos will automatically play as your scroll by them, which can prove both irritating and useful. In terms of fonts, and the overall aesthetic, Facebook has opted to make profile names and post titles bold- while comment and share links are paler in comparison. This is useful for skim reading.
In terms of usability, on a very basic level, the Facebook App ticks all the boxes. Using the app, users can easily read, like and share posts. You can message friends using the extended messenger app, and opening links will redirect your screen to your cellphone’s internet browsers. Videos will automatically jump to full screen when clicked, and you can save links to read or browse at a later date. Those interested in using the Facebook App for professional reasons may suffer. The Facebook app is very timeline dense. The marketing side of Facebook and the usability of business pages is significantly reduced, as the social media aspect takes precedence. The app primarily considers a market of ‘scrollers’ and disregards those who may want to use the app to promote their business on the go. While it can be done, it can’t be done as easily, and this is definitely a negative for those who like to reap the unconventional benefits of Facebook.
Cross-platform use 8/10
Zuckerberg has called the Facebook App the ‘Cross-platform platform’ and most developers are in agreement. The app fares well across numerous platforms, but most importantly seems to work relatively well on both iOS and Android, with only a few expected limitations.
All In-App purchase available through Facebook relate to any purchases made through games or game apps. Facebook mobile gives users the option to download games, and these games offer purchases and upgrades that are self contained. The Facebook app itself currently has no purchases available.
As with any app, there is room for improvement with Facebook. Many users report crashes, bugs and a general lack of functionality on certain devices. However, those that successfully download and operate the app, have few complaints (if any). The app covers all the bases you would expect it to, and generally appeals to a market that uses Facebook for scrolling and reading purposes. Overall, this is a simple yet effective way to keep up to date with friends and family while on the go.
Those looking for a simple, engaging and straightforward alternative to the Facebook browser will not be disappointed by this underwhelming yet nonetheless satisfying app.
Pros : Easy to use;
Very image dense, which is ideal for users that enjoy the ‘media’ aspect of social media;
Can be linked to other mobile apps, including Instagram;
Facebook calls using the messenger app are free and offer surprisingly high quality;
The design is simple and aesthetically pleasing;
There is no major gap in functionality or usability.
Cons : Posts aren’t listed chronologically;
The app itself is rather large, and can take up significant space on smaller phone;
The main app has no messaging function;
The app isn’t very accessible to businesses and to those who use Facebook Ads for marketing.
Cross-platform use 4.0