After months of speculation Facebook has finally introduced the Facebook for iPad app.
The full Facebook experience on the iPad is tailor-made for touching, zooming and photo-viewing on the big(ger) screen.
It offers clever navigation that slides in and out of the left side of the screen, always-there notifications and messages icons so you don't miss out on new updates, built-in chat, a full-screen mode for games, and slideshows for photo albums.
Facebook's Leon Dubinsky emphasizes that "It's a fun way to keep up with friends, share photos, chat and more" in an October 10 post on the Facebook Blog.
Avid Facebook-using iPad owners are rejoicing about the release of the free Facebook iPad app after months of rumors and even more months spent trying to request a made-for-iPad app.
While it might appear as if Facebook will reap all the benefits, the app actually represents a bigger win for Apple.
Facebook has yet to develop an official application for Android tablets (however third party Facebook apps do exist on the platform). The New York Times believes that the availability of the official app on the iPad may be enough to convince some of Facebook's more than 800 million active users to buy an iPad over an Android tablet.
Facebook's lure is exceedingly strong; according to market researcher Nielsen, Americans spend approximately 7.75 hours a month, or roughly 16% of their total internet time, on Facebook.
It appears that Facebook has also given in to Apple's demands in respect to in-app payments.
"Facebook announced a huge extension of its mobile platform today, and as long rumored, the company is going to be spreading its payment platform, Facebook Credits, to the mobile versions of all Facebook apps," notes Matt Rosoff of Business Insider.
Rosoff adds that "This could have been a blow to Apple, giving a way for developers to sell content -- like virtual goods, song downloads, or news subscriptions -- within iPhone apps without having to go through Apple's App Store and give Apple its 30% cut."
However, Business Insider reports that Facebook will soon announce that "Native iOS apps and mobile web apps that are running within a Facebook iOS app may not use Facebook Credits."
The Facebook for iPad app is available now in the Apple App Store. An updated iPhone app is also available for download and comes with "simplified navigation, faster search and access to more games and apps," says Facebook. The updates have also been applied to Facebook's mobile site, m.facebook.com.
You can view a hands-on video with the iPad Facebook app made by Gizmodo here: http://gizmodo.com/5848452/facebook-for-ipad-hands-on-ive-waited-so-long
Download the updated (and now universal iPhone and iPad) Facebook app here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/facebook/id284882215
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