MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — What's the worst insult you can throw at a fast-moving company like Facebook? Call its iPhone app slow and poky.
On Thursday, Facebook Inc. addressed users who had gripes with its app for iPhones and iPads with the launch of a faster version. Rather than add a slew of new features, the company said it rebuilt the application from scratch to make it speedier and less clunky.
In a recent demonstration at the company's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, the new iPhone app opened about twice as fast as the older version. Photos and comments also load faster. Users can now "like" comments on photos, which wasn't possible with the previous mobile app.
Mick Johnson, mobile product manager at Facebook, said programmers removed some lesser-used features, such as a way to view the app horizontally, to help speed it up.
The mobile arena presents Facebook with its biggest challenge —and its biggest opportunity. That's where its user base is growing the most. At the end of June, Facebook had 543 million users who accessed it with a phone or tablet computer, up 67 percent from 325 million a year earlier. Its overall user base grew 29 percent over the same time period, to 955 million.
But while Facebook ads are well-established on its website, the company only recently started experimenting with mobile advertisements. That's been a concern for investors, who've sent Facebook's stock down by nearly half since the company's initial public offering three months ago.
The iPad version of the new app now features Timeline, the latest version of the profile page that Facebook is rolling out to all of its users.
The app is available for free from Apple's App Store.
Still absent from Facebook's app is any integration of Instagram. That's because Facebook hasn't closed the acquisition of the photo-sharing app. Though it got a step closer Wednesday, when the Federal Trade Commission said it has closed its investigation into Facebook's planned acquisition.
The FTC said it is not taking action on the deal, which can now go forward as planned. Facebook has agreed to buy Instagram in a cash and stock deal worth about $748 million, based on Facebook's stock price on Thursday. The price tag had been about $1 billion when the companies initiated the deal before Facebook's IPO, in April.
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Show Yourself Breastfeeding
This mommy controversy has long plagued Facebook, as the company states there can be no nudity in its <a href="https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms" target="_hplink">terms of service</a>. But parents argue there's a line between "inappropriate" and "legitimate" images. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/08/facebook-nurse-in-60-brea_n_1263532.html" target="_hplink">Emma Kwasnica</a> is a breastfeeding advocate who often posts pictures of herself nursing, and as a result, her account has been suspended five times. Kwasnica and other mothers even protested the issue at Facebook headquarters during National Breastfeeding Week.
'Pretend' To Be The Zuck
Apparently there can be only one Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook. <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385254,00.asp" target="_hplink">According to PC Mag</a>, in 2011 Mark S. Zuckerberg was kicked off Facebook because of "identity fraud." But this lawyer from Indiana had other Facebook woes before his restricted account: Because of the similarity of his name to the ever-fascinating CEO, S. Zuckerberg was receiving nearly 500 friend request a day. Eventually, after making a few headlines, Facebook apologized and the lawyer regained access to his account.
Share Names With A Celeb
Selena Gomez was recently banned from Facebook. But it wasn't the Disney superstar who's been prohibited from uploading her latest pics; it was just a regular girl, <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2012/08/05/selena-gomez-banned-facebook/" target="_hplink">TMZ reported</a>. One day Selena Miranda Gomez from New Mexico attempted to access her Facebook account and found she was unable to log in because the social networking site believed she was impersonating the actress, which is against the company's policy. At the time of publication, it was not clear whether Gomez's account had been reactivated.
Set Up A Profile Under Your Famous Pseudonym
Salman Rushdie, who penned titles like <em>Midnight's Children</em> and <em>The Satanic Verses, </em> had his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/salman-rushdie-facebook_n_1092828.html" target="_hplink">Facebook account suspended</a> in 2011 because of what Facebook perceived to be a name discrepancy. While Rushdie's first name is Ahmed, the world knows him by his middle name, Salman. The social network told the author that he wold have to use his first name on his profile. "Dear #Facebook, forcing me to change my FB name from Salman to Ahmed Rushdie is like forcing J. Edgar to become John Hoover," Rushdie sounded off on <a href="https://twitter.com/SalmanRushdie/status/136136147398168576" target="_hplink">his twitter account </a>following the incident. Facebook later restored <a href="https://www.facebook.com/rushdie" target="_hplink">his profile</a>.
Coordinate Hack Attacks
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZNDV4hGUGw" target="_hplink">Operation Payback</a> was a plot from the infamous hacker group Anonymous to take down Visa's website after the credit card company cut off donations to Wikileaks. Hackers gathered on both Facebook and Twitter to plan and promote an attack, causing their accounts to be suspended on the social networking sites, <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/news/wikileaks-hackers-attack-visa-get-banned-by-facebook-twitter/490442" target="_hplink">according to ZDNet. </a>
Take Odd Pics Of Your Kids
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/lauren-ferrari-banned-facebook-breastfeeding_n_1709928.html" target="_hplink">Lauren Ferrari was banned from Facebook</a> for seven days after she posted a photo of her 5-year-old pretending to nurse her younger sibling. While Ferrari didn't think much of the image when she uploaded it, both Facebook and the police found the photo to be problematic. The Seattle Police Department said her actions showed "poor parenting," which sparked an online controversy about what should and should not be put online.
Spam Your 'Friends'
Adam Guerbuez was fined $873 million after sending out more than 4 million spam messages about penis-enlargements, porn and marijuana, <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/207046/facebook_spammer_tries_to_cash_in_on_873_million_fine.html" target="_hplink">according to PC World</a>. This behavior got Guerbuez kicked off of Facebook and caused him to file for bankruptcy in 2010.
Pretend You're Over 13 When You're Not
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/23/facebook-underage-users_n_839437.html" target="_hplink">In 2011 Facebook's chief privacy adviser</a> said that an average of 20,000 underage Facebook user accounts are shut down each day. The social networking site has a strict policy stating that only those over the age of 13 are allowed to maintain a personal profile.
Add Script Or Code To The Site
<em>"Hello, Our systems indicate that you've been highly active on Facebook lately and viewing pages at a quick enough rate that we suspect you may be running an automated script."</em> How would you like to get that email from Facebook? That's exactly what happen to tech-blogger <a href="http://scobleizer.com/2008/01/03/ive-been-kicked-off-of-facebook/" target="_hplink">Robert Scoble</a>. Apparently he had added an address book importer to his Facebook account, but any additional script whatsoever just doesn't fly with this social media site. His account was restored after he "<a href="http://scobleizer.com/2008/01/03/ive-been-kicked-off-of-facebook/" target="_hplink">made a public stink</a>" about the ordeal online.