While there's nothing that has fundamentally changed, the Facebook client (which is a must if you wanted to access certain Facebook features, such as direct messaging of people) feels a lot more integrated fits in with Windows Phone. For example settings boxes are in the same place as in other applications, circular menu buttons at the base of the screen in view, and the Panorama now has a full width image strip (which nicely mirrors the new Timeline profile inside Facebook).
The layout of key parts of Facebook have been shuffled around to make them more accessible - events is demoted to a menu, with your news feed promoted into the main panorama. There's also a comprehensive filter option for your news feed that lets you have more granularity over the content or the lists of people that you can see.
Facebook has been concentrating on the following areas for this version:
- News feed performance improvements
- New panorama design.
- New profile design.
- Banner Images.
- Improved navigation.
- View “likes”.
- Feed filters.
- Posting privacy.
- Bug fixing
And you can follow the progress of the Facebook app on its own Facebook app page.
The update is currently rolling out through the Marketplace. If you can't wait to have the on-device marketplace offer you the update, head to the web based version of the Windows Marketplace, log on, and you can force an over the air re-install... of the latest version. Which is a handy trick you can use on any app, not just Facebook.
It's been a while, but it's nice to see some attention on the Windows Phone implementation of Facebook. While the people hub and sharing support baked into the OS is enough for many people, there's a lot more to Facebook. Previously that was hidden away, even with this application. It's all change now, though, and hopefully it won't be another four months before the next update.
For now, this is a must-download app for any Facebook user in my mind.