Microsoft launches Facebook for Windows Phone beta app program

One of the big selling points of Windows Phone is its robust integration with social networks, part of the platform's ideology of "putting people first." Despite being able to perform a range of tasks on social networks via the operating system, however, some still want more options in the form of an app.

Today, Microsoft has announced that it's opening a beta program for the Facebook app, which it develops for the Windows Phone platform. The program is "designed to help speed up delivery of new features" in the official app, and the company say it's seeking "sharp-eyed, energetic volunteers" to download and use the beta versions of future releases of the app in order to help make it better.

Microsoft is working on a major redesign of the app, including what it describes as "several much-requested features," such as support for higher-resolution photos, full Facebook Timeline integration and the ability to share posts from the app. In return for gaining early access to the new version of the app, all that's asked is that testers report bugs and general feedback, and submit feature requests via the settings menu within the app.

To prevent the app being downloaded by those who don't want to test beta software, Microsoft isn't making it available through the Windows Phone Store's search feature. Instead, interested individuals can grab the beta app by clicking on this link. The really good news is the beta app won't replace the existing Facebook app for now; users can keep both apps installed alongside each other on their Windows Phones.

The beta follows a statement last month from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop that a better version of the Facebook app was being worked on. Earlier this month, a Nokia representative on the company's Facebook page stated an Instagram app is coming to Windows Phone.

Source and images: Windows Phone Blog | Download link

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Facebook already released their version of the app. This is just better (I assume better anyway) than Facebook's effort.

mnl1121 said,
Facebook already released their version of the app. This is just better (I assume better anyway) than Facebook's effort.
Facebook never released a Facebook app for Windows Phone. The current non-beta version was developed by Microsoft (or a company hired by Microsoft). And this beta version is also developed by/for Microsoft.

WP's baked in facebook functionality is good enough for me already. I have FBs app, but I barely use it, only for the few things that the OS can't do, which isn't much.

It's nice looking but man it makes my 920 run hot like crazy. It's not like it's Angry Birds sheesh, lol. I hope THAT gets addressed.

I noticed that as well. We definitely need to submit this as a bug or issue. I have a 920 as well and it was heating up like i was playing a game.

The problem with the original Facebook app is that Microsoft tried to make an app that is a hybrid of Metro design and Facebook design and the just doesn't work. It's like making a sport car that is also a truck.

Had Microsoft made a Facebook app that is entirely Metro, it would look like the People Hub. It would work fine, but it would look nothing like Facebook.

Microsoft finally gave that up and basically went entirely with Facebook design.

You haven't used the old facebook app? It looks very much alike of the iOS and Android apps...
Glossy rounded buttons, no Modern style animations.

With this beta, the rounded glossy BS, is now flat and square. The animations are Modern style....

Use it first please.

Huh, please use the app first. There's plenty of Modern style within the app, all animations for example.
They kept to the Facebook style, because its Facebook.
The app does NOTHING more, less actually, then the People Hub. But people don't realize the People Hub does Facebook... because it doesn't look like Facebook.

But the app is a Modern Style version of its iOS and Android counterparts.

chorpeac said,
I love how one app will make people switch phones just like that... Like flipping a coin.

Wait till Instagram arrives. It's ridiculous.

Didn't realise how happy this news would make me. The app is finally matching iOS/Android counterparts. Cheers MS!

JonnyLH said,
Didn't realise how happy this news would make me. The app is finally matching iOS/Android counterparts. Cheers MS!

ITS EXCEEDING! It usually lags on my iPhone 5 when opening up the chat list or menu list, on this app it is fluid as F#(K!!!

Trying to download it I get "Service not available, the store isn;t available at the moment. Please check again shortly. Error code: 805a01f7"

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