Facebook for BlackBerry v1.9 now in Beta Zone

News

Today, I’m excited to announce the availability of a new version of Facebook® for BlackBerry® smartphones through BlackBerry Beta Zone. (Make sure to sign up for a Beta Zone account to try out v1.9!) We continually strive to improve the ‘Facebook for BlackBerry’ experience – in v1.8 we focused on optimizing the speed and performance of the application; now in V.1.9 we are adding more Facebook features that BlackBerry smartphone fans have been asking for.

Here are a few examples of what’s new in Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones v1.9:

Dedicated Inbox

You’ve been asking for the ability to view just your Facebook messages, so we’ve now added options on how and where you can view your Facebook messages to help you more easily manage your Facebook communications. We now offer two different ways to view your Facebook messages:

  1. The Facebook Messages view lets you see only your Facebook messages in one inbox.
  2. If you prefer to have all of your messages in one place you can set up your Facebook messages to appear within your BlackBerry Messages inbox.

Also, as part of these new views, the app pre-fetches 30 of your existing Facebook messages in order to pre-populate your inbox with your existing messages when you first log in!

With v.1.9 the Facebook Messages inbox on your BlackBerry smartphone are now also synchronized with your inbox on the web, so deleted and opened items now stay in sync. Once you’ve logged in, Facebook for BlackBerry will continue to leverage our unique BlackBerry Push service to keep messages updated. The end goal is an integrated email interface that looks as much like your everyday Facebook inbox as possible!

Facebook Search

With Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones v1.9, you can use the new Facebook Search function to search Facebook for individual people and pages. From the results that your query brings back, depending on the privacy settings, you can view mutual friends, enlarge profile photos (so you know for sure that a person really is your old high-school friend!), and send a request to add them as a friend.

If you’re searching for a Page, you can choose to “Like it” to start following when it’s updated.

Another nifty feature in v1.9 for BlackBerry® 6 users is that Facebook Search is tied into the system’s integrated Universal Search, so if you search your BlackBerry smartphone for a query, Universal Search will also pull in results from Facebook!

Friends List, Page List, Updated Navigation Bar

In addition to the features listed above, we’ve also worked to make sure that the Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones app looks easy to use – and functions as smoothly as possible. To this end, we’ve optimized the Friends List to add profile photos of your friends and have made it possible to view pages in list form. We’ve also updated the navigation bar so you can view your profile, and add new icons for Facebook search and Message view.

Now that we’ve piqued your interest, go and sign up for the beta, but don’t wait too long as there are a limited number of spots available for the beta program. We’ll give you a bit of a teaser and confirm that the full release of Facebook for BlackBerry smartphone v1.9 will also include Facebook Places and additional UI updates. Stay tuned for more announcements!

In the meantime, what would you like to see in future versions? We know you’d like to see Facebook Chat and we are actively working toward including this in a future version – any other features or improvements you can think of? Please leave a comment and let us know!

About Sean Hungerford

I’m the head of Product Management for BBM. I lead a team of incredible product managers that work closely with the development and marketing teams to bring the world’s best mobile social networking experience to users on BlackBerry, Android and iPhone. When I’m not busy with BBM you may find me on the tennis court or exploring KW with my Irish R&W Setter named River (for more on him check out my BBM Channel C0024F014 #Shamelessplug).

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