Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has gone out of his way to mention Facebook’s groups feature during the company’s earnings calls for the third quarter of 2014 and fourth quarter of 2013, hinting during the latter that a stand-alone application might be forthcoming. Forthcoming is now here, as the social network announced the launch of its Facebook Groups app in a Newsroom post Tuesday, saying that the app is available in all countries, for iOS and Android.
The saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” does not apply in the world of applications, as the Rooms anonymous chatting app Facebook released last week raised the ire of the developers of Room, an iPhone app that debuted last month, as both apps allow users to create chat rooms and invite others to participate, without requiring real names.
Facebook launched an updated version of iPhone application Paper with an eye toward taking advantage of the larger screen sizes of Apple’s recently introduced iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Paper design lead Mike Matas announced in a Facebook post.
The iOS tool behind the user interface for Facebook’s Paper iPhone application was open-sourced by the social network Wednesday, iOS engineer Nadine Salter, Instagram iOS engineering manager Scott Goodson and software engineer Andrew Pouliot revealed in a post on the Facebook engineering blog.
The second application from Facebook Creative Labs, Slingshot, was officially released Tuesday after a brief cameo last week, and what is being billed as the social network’s answer to Snapchat is available for iPhones running iOS 7 via the iTunes App Store, and for Android devices running Jelly Bean and KitKat via Google Play.
The popularity of Facebook’s Paper iPhone application has been slipping of late, and the social network added a slew of new features to its update, version 1.2, with an eye toward rekindling interest in the app.
Still not convinced that Facebook is a mobile company? According to a new study by digital advertising company Quantcast, the social network accounts for 24 percent of mobile referrals to news and entertainment sites, and Facebook is now the largest third-party browser on iOS, responsible for 12 percent of browsing on the mobile operating system.
Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg divided the social network’s portfolio of applications into three stages during the company’s first-quarter earnings call Wednesday afternoon, putting the flagship Facebook apps in the most mature category; followed by established offerings Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp; and capped by the fruits of its new Facebook Creative Labs initiative, such as iPhone app Paper.