Microsoft has announced major changes to its new Facebook for Windows Phone app, now in version 5.2 which was first made available on Monday. The phones use the Windows 8.1 operating system.
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Microsoft said in a statement that, “Facebook contacts, events, and photo albums are now powered by the Facebook for Windows Phone app.”
Earlier versions of the app were decried by Facebook fans as being too slow and not offering as many features as the apps for Android and Apple devices.
Calling it a “major update, ” the changes include support for Facebook’s new Facebook Messenger for Windows Phone. Microsoft is also promising faster performance for the app which fist debuted in December 2013. This marks the fourth version of the app.
Users will see the upgrades immediately when opening the app as they include a completely new design and graphics.
Other upgrades include support for 50 different languages, up from twenty, and the inclusion of emoticons and stickers. It also is divided into new live tiles which allow people to see what their friends have posted on their wall right from the start screen.
Secondary tiles will allow users to pin Facebook chat, events, groups, pages, and photo albums to start. Microsoft boasts that only on Windows Phone can people see who commented on a photo, what they wrote, and which photo they commented on, from the phone’s start screen live tile.
Microsoft said that improved notifications was the number one request made by users during the beta testing.
Facebook will also now be linked directly into Microsoft’s People Hub on its Windows Phone which will give the company and even greater marketing reach.
Since Facebook only develops its apps for Android and iPhone systems, Microsoft was forced to design its Facebook app by itself.