Facebook had promised investors that improving upon their mobile apps would be their first task post IPO. The company now writes on their Facebook Mobile page that they've brought an update to their mobile apps and have added larger pictures. The old News Feed design in the Facebook mobile apps treated images like regular status updates. However, now, thumbnails are much bigger and are even stacked in interesting ways in the News Feed. Photos are three times larger and Facebook says that the photos will fill your mobile device's screen from edge to edge. The new design will be made available on iOS, Android and m.facebook.com. This improvement of mobile pictures comes right after Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion.
Before and after in the Facebook mobile News Feed
Google+ also recently updated their iOS app to provide enhancement to photos. Both social networks understand the role of a mobile device in taking and sharing photos and as a result, it seems both services want to offer improvements to mobile photos. Facebook, in its app for Every Phone added filters recently to the photo uploader. Users can now add a greyscale filter or a sepia filter to the photos they upload to the social network. With Facebook milking its acquisition of Instagram, we're bound to see more improvements to mobile photos.
While Mark Zuckerberg said that working on their mobile apps was a priority post IPO, what he meant was monetization of the apps. Facebook has been criticized by investors for their mobile apps lacking advertisements and therefore, the substantial revenue stream that their web interface enjoys. Facebook also recently announced that they're testing a new feature, “Highlighted Posts” where users can pay for their statues to hold prominence over other status updates. It will be interesting to see if that feature will come to mobile devices to help with mobile monetization.