App of the Week: Five Ways to Improve the Facebook App

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App: Facebook Platforms: All Smart Phones Web site: Facebook.com Cost: Free

Facebook has become such a part of the way most people connect online, it's hard to imagine that the app Mark Zuckerberg and company produce could fall so flat. Many people spend hours every day looking at and commenting on the feeds and photos of friends and sharing their own status updates, links, photos and videos. Unfortunately, many of those things are difficult to do on the app version of the social networking giant.

It would be one thing if the Facebook app were simply not feature-rich. Packing all the features of the Web site into an app is very likely not possible. But there are features missing from the app that would seem to be pretty standard parts of the Facebook experience. Frankly, if you guys at Facebook can come up with a usable interface for feature phones, you certainly can improve your app for smart phones. Here is our list of the five basic features we'd like to see in the next Facebook app update.

5. Do something about notification and photo bugs Notifications and photos are terribly buggy on the Facebook app. Often, notifications will not appear in the app even though you can see them on the Web site. Links to tagged photos routinely go to the wrong photo, and going straight to a photo often generates a connection error. Not only is it frustrating, it's unacceptable for a company as large as "The Book."

4. Create an interface for editing user information Choosing to edit personal information in the Facebook app returns an interface just like the Web site. In fact, it appears that all the app does is open a browser window and log you into Facebook online. If they can build an interface for everything else, it would seem logical to build an app interface for this. That way, you can drunkenly update your relationship status at 3 a.m. from outside the bar quickly and easily.

3. Allow users to create events While there is a case to be made that events are an undertaking more worthy of the Web, the ability to create an event through the app should be no more difficult than creating a photo album, which is a feature the app does offer. Viewing, responding to and even posting on the wall of events is possible. Creating an event should be, too.

2. Tagging users in status updates Since we mentioned the whole using an @ to tag a person in a status update earlier, why not come up with a way to add a user name to a status update so it posts to both my wall and his/her wall? You guys are smart. Figure it out already.

1. Let us share links This may be something that needs to get wrapped directly into smart phone technology on the whole, but a way to share a link that doesn't involve using the Web site interface is a must. At the very least, give users the option of copying and pasting a link into a status update and leaving a comment. This is one of the main functions of status updates on the Web. It should be for the app as well.

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