Facebook has updated its mobile app for iOS which boasts several improvements, including new messaging and photos features as well as support for Gifts.

Re-launched in September, Facebook Gifts enable members to buy presents — ranging from flowers and fashion accessories to monetary donations — for anyone, regardless of the reason. Originally available through Facebook.com, now Gifts can be sent right from an iPhone.

The downside is that this feature is only available within the United States. Additionally, there doesn’t appear to be a search box or filter options, meaning people will have to scroll through hundreds of gift times to find what they’re looking for.

Borrowing features from its Camera app, Facebook for iOS now supports multi-photo upload, photo editing, and filters. These filters — totaling 14 compared to Instagram‘s 17 — include options like Emerald, Coffee, Highlight, and so on, and can be accessed by tapping the “magic wand” icon after selecting a photo. In a bid to stay competitive, it’s rumored that Twitter is planning to add photo filters to its mobile app as well. It looks like things are about to get very colorful on social networks.

And finally, Facebook pulled features from its standalone Messenger app and brought them to the main app. Swiping left now reveals a list of frequently contacted friends. Moving forward, instead of sorting your News Feed by “top stories” or “most recent” from the top right corner, you’ll have to tap the gear icon next to the News Feed bookmark in the left-hand menu.

Facebook for iOS version 5.1 is available for download in Apple’s App Store.

[Via: Mashable, Image credit: Aslak Raanes]