Less than a month passed since the last Facebook update on iOS and the social network already released the next major version. Just like last time, it introduced some changes not mentioned in the official release notes; after status updates, in version 8.0, Facebook redesigned user profiles. The cover photo and name are both larger, and so are the buttons to ‘Message’ and ‘Call’; the snippets of information on the right of the profile picture have been removed in favor of a small activity stream lower on the page, which is collapsed by default and can be expanded by tapping on the ellipsis; the links to ‘About’, ‘Photos’ and ‘Friends’ have been moved further down and redesigned slightly to match the cleaner look of the new profiles. The cover photo has a small Easter Egg: on the top right corner you can see an arrow pointing left; when you tap it, the cover photo bounces, revealing another photo – much like the Camera icon on the iOS 7 lock screen. You can then swipe through more photos – though these are not past cover photos, as one might expect, but photos in which the user is tagged. This time I also noticed an option to ‘Text’ the user, if he added a phone number to the Facebook profile, but that was probably available before. Overall the new profiles look much nicer thanks to more white space and increased contrast.
What’s New in Version 8.0
- A simple way to see and choose a photo album’s audience
- An updated design that makes it easier to post and share on iPad
- Improvements for reliability and speed
The new look could be just a field trial, since company profiles haven’t been updated and the iTunes store screenshots still show the old profile design. Nevertheless, with updates coming so rapidly for the mobile apps – compared to the desktop site, where Facebook failed to deploy a redesign globally and ultimately backtracked – it’s clear that Facebook is taking the “mobile first” agenda seriously.