Today Facebook finally launched its iPad app. There was already an iPhone app, but the best experience for iPad tablet owners until now was the regular Facebook website.
Though it’s quite elegant, there’s nothing radical or new in this application. It doesn’t add any functionality that didn’t already exist for Facebook members. However, it’s more full-featured than most of the third-party apps that have popped up in the past couple of years, and it’s much more pleasant to use on the iPad than the iPhone app or, arguably, the desktop web version.
As far as businesses are concerned, this product release is something to be aware of, but there’s no action required from you at this time. Business and brand Pages are viewable in the app, and Facebook Places check-ins are also possible. In fact, Facebook users can even use a few of the games and applications developed for the Facebook Platform — not all of them, though. It looks like developers will have to update their apps and games to work with the mobile devices.
There are no Page management tools included in the app. That means business owners and marketing professionals will have to continue to use the web version for work. It is another way for customers to engage with you, and it even offers the same location-based features that the iPhone app does, but it isn’t going to change the way you work yet.
Oddly, the iPad app does not appear to support Facebook’s new Timelines. The profile pages in the app are structured and presented in a similar form to the old profiles.
Facebook also made some improvements to the iPhone app to coincide with this new release, and opened up the Facebook Platform — an app and game development toolset and market — to developers who want to make apps and games for the iPhone, the iPad, or the mobile website at m.facebook.com.
You can download the iPhone and iPad application on Apple’s App Store right now.
Samuel Axon: Samuel is the Editorial Director supervising Sprout Social's editorial and web content projects. He has years of experience in blogging and social media, having previously worked as an editor at social media and technology news sites Mashable and Engadget. He also helped build the white label web content management system Crowd Fusion from the ground up.