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.
Facebook announced version 1.1 of its Paper iPhone application, with new features including notifications for birthdays and events; photo comments; group updates; and new article covers for select publishers.
Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke with Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times’ Bits blog about the Facebook Creative Labs initiative to create new mobile applications, the differences between Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and turning 30, among other things.
Last December, Facebook began prompting users of its flagship iOS application to download its Facebook Messenger app, and the social network also began prompting mobile users to encourage their friends who had not yet downloaded Messenger to do so. Soon, according to reports by TechCrunch and The Verge, Facebook mobile users who wish to chat will not have a choice, as messages will no longer be available in its iOS and Android flagship apps.
It’s been a busy first quarter for Facebook. From acquisitions to algorithms, there have been more than 10 new announcements in the first three months of the year, causing many brands to feel cold toward the global social site. With spring knocking on the door, here’s a breakdown of the most important changes Facebook has made to help brands flourish.