Facebook adds video recording, voice messaging to iOS app

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is overhauling its flagship mobile social networking application for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, adding in-app video recording and sharing capabilities as well as voice messaging options.

Although consumers could previously upload video clips directly to Facebook accounts from their iOS device photo roll, the Facebook for iOS 5.4 update implements the functionality directly into the app, promising a smoother, more efficient user experience. The built-in video recording and sharing features also mirror functionality found in rival Twitter's new Vine video app, which launched last week--The Verge states that Facebook app updates are released on a strict schedule, suggesting the timing of the latest revamp is likely coincidental, although it's worth noting that Facebook has already blocked Vine from accessing its network.

Facebook for iOS 5.4 also brings voice recording options previously available in the company's standalone Messenger apps for iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android; potential use case scenarios for the new feature include hands-free messaging or more complex messages that are too long and detailed to type as conventional texts. Facebook is additionally improving the iOS app's Nearby tab, which suggests local businesses and landmarks based on the user's interests and preferences.

Facebook is now the most popular application in the U.S. with 85.6 million unique visitors per month, according to comScore data released last week. Facebook also dominates user engagement rankings, accounting for 23 percent of all time spent on mobile apps each month. Facebook-owned photo sharing Instagram occupies another 3 percent of users' time.

For more:
- read this Verge article

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