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THE LATEST IN FACEBOOK MOBILE: EMOTICONS, NEWS FEED, AND CHAT HEADS for Flic House

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IMG_2644Within the last few months, Facebook has been making several changes to its interface by polishing its look and adding features, including a completely new redesign. Facebook’s mobile app and web versions have also been put under the knife for some nice improvements, with some of the most recent additions being emoticons, floating “Chat Heads”, and an improved news feed.

These new features have been slowly rolling out to Facebook users within the last few weeks, and are now available by updating to the latest iteration of the Facebook mobile app, version 6.0.2. When you first open the app, you’ll notice right away a cleaner UI, and a new way to filter your news feed – a feature that is already being implemented on the new desktop version of Facebook. Users can filter their news feed by photos, groups, close friends, lists, and more. Overall it’s a great feature to help unclutter your news feed and get specific content that you want to see.

IMG_2645Another nice addition to the new Facebook app is one that the company has been aggressively marketing, as a part of its newly released Facebook phone, the HTC First. The feature is a carry-over from the phone’s interface called Facebook Home, and allows users to message friends and contacts within the app via floating bubbles or “Chat Heads”. This puts content/news front and center without having to access a separate menu for messages, as the Chat Heads are overlaid throughout the app and can be moved around with a simple flick of the finger. It works very smoothly, feeling right at home with a smartphone and especially iOS. Unfortunately the Chat Heads only work within the Facebook App if you don’t have an HTC First or Facebook Home, but the jailbreaking community is currently working on a modification that will bring them throughout your whole iOS device. More about Flic House

Lastly, Facebook has slowly been rolling out a feature reminiscent of the old days of Myspace, where users can update their status with an emoticon – such as “Feeling Anxious”. There’s a nice selection of emotions to choose from, ranging anywhere from “Feeling Fresh” to “Feeling Sick”, which can be customized with different smiley faces or words. Another great feature of the improved status update is the ability to post what you’re watching, reading, eating, drinking, or listening to, such as “Listening to M83″ where it will tag the Facebook page of the subject that is being mentioned – a great way to market a business via status updates.

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