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Facebook have tonight taken the opportunity to push out an update to their universal iPhone, iPod touch and iPad mobile app, taking it to the version 5.1. The world’s biggest social network have been on a relatively well-received mobile push recently with significant updates to their iOS and Android apps. This latest update on Apple’s iOS platform brings some notable enhancements and serves to make the software a lot more social thanks to more powerful chatting and photo sharing features.

As part of a recent update to their dedicated Facebook Messenger chatting application, the popular social network introduced new swipe gestures that gave immediate access to online chat lists. The engineering team at the Palo Alto company have deemed the main app worthy enough to have the same functionality, with users now being able to make a left swipe gesture anywhere on the interface to get a list of anyone who is signed on and available to chat through the messaging system.

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The way the app handles favorites has also benefitted from slight amendments. Users can now opt to add friends to the top of their favorites list based on messaging and chat frequency, after all it makes perfect sense to have the most communicated contacts at the top of the list. The ability to share multiple photographs has also been built-in to the 5.1 release through an extremely easy to select interface that ends up with a batch upload situation.

The final polish to the Facebook app comes in the form of active chat contacts and the ability to quickly send gifts to friends and family using the relatively new Gifts functionality. Although it is currently only available in the United States, the gifts option is a great and very convenient way to send presents to people. Active members of chat conversations are also now highlighted in a move that allows us to see who is actually engaged in a chat and most likely to respond. Another feature that has been pulled from the dedicated messaging app.

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Mark Zuckerberg’s new found attention and focus on mobile is definitely a much appreciated change in direction and we can only hope we see more notable upgrades like this going forward.

(Source: Facebook for iOS on the App Store)

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