Facebook for iOS updated and optimized for speed

If you’re not reaching, engaging, and monetizing customers on mobile, you’re likely losing them to someone else. Register now for the 8th annual MobileBeat, July 13-14, where the best and brightest will be exploring the latest strategies and tactics in the mobile space.

Facebook has answered the pleas of millions of mobile users with the release of a new application for iOS. The social network has finally addressed the most glaring issue of the company’s iPhone and iPad applications: speed.

Facebook 5.0 for iOS dropped on the App Store today, and the new version amounts to a complete do-over. The application looks essentially the same, but it’s now twice as fast in three areas: launching the app, scrolling through the News Feed, and opening photos in feed.

“As you scroll down your news feed, all your friends’ stories appear faster than ever. A banner lets you know when new stories come in, and you can tap once to immediately see the latest updates,” iOS product manager Mick Johnson said in a blog post on the update.

The photo opening experience has been transformed from painfully slow to nearly instantaneous. Users can now tap a photo to open it right away and pull down to close the photo just as quickly. Notifications should now also load just as swiftly.

Perhaps now the Facebook experience on iOS devices won’t be an exercise in  patience. Should that prove to be the case, the social network will have a far better opportunity to monetize its mobile service, as members would be more likely to engage with Sponsored Stories and application ads.

Photo credit: fiduz/Flickr

VB's research team is studying mobile user acquisition... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.