Windows 8 Facebook app spotted in an advertisement [Update: Maybe Not?]

Without a doubt, the biggest app that's not currently on Windows 8 is an official one from Facebook. We have already made our feelings known about this development but, as it turns out, a banner ad for Microsoft's Surface tablet may have revealed that an official Windows 8/RT app for Facebook is indeed in the works.

Neowin reader Matthew_Thepc sent us a screenshot of a Surface web ad he saw on Gizmodo.com which seems to show a Facebook app running on the top left hand corner of the Start screen of the tablet. It stands to reason that if Microsoft is showing a Facebook app on the Surface ad, such an app is being developed, either by Facebook itself or by Microsoft, which authored the official Windows Phone Facebook app. Or it could just be a mistake.

We have emailed Facebook but they have yet to respond to our request for comment. We did receive this response from Microsoft:

We are super excited about the quality and the breadth of apps in our store; more and more are being added every day. Developers are excited about our industry leading revenue sharing and the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of the most significant release of Windows in history. Consumers are also excited about the apps in the Windows Store and Windows 8 puts the apps at their fingertips.

Update: A Facebook spokesperson has sent an email to Neowin with this claim about the Surface ad: "This is a live tile bookmark to fb.com not an app."

Thanks again to Matthew_Thepc for the tip!

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34 Comments

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It isn't a live tile, someone probably created that tile as Facebook is an expected app for someone to want. There are several apps that can create tiles for you.
There are some decent alternatives to an official Facebook app anyway... MINE, FlipToast, Facebook Touch just to name a few.

I synced my FaceBook to the "people" app on my Windows 8 at home, I can see the news feed, my "wall" all pictures everything. Not sure why you'd need anything else...its already there.

It's a mock-up, the mail tiles icon is bigger and the mail, travel, and videos tiles are colored differently.


Update: A Facebook spokesperson has sent an email to Neowin with this claim about the Surface ad: "This is a live tile bookmark to fb.com not an app."

Nope. Live Tile bookmarks are squares... you can't turn those into wide tiles.

I had to test it, to confirm your statement. It is factual. So, the idiotic Facebook spokesperson lied. I am not surprised. There is so much disinformation out there, that I would like to personally thank you rfirth for helping to clarify.

It's probably a mock-up, but no way in hell is it a "...live tile bookmark to fb.com..." because that would only occupy a single square, not a double one.

It doesn't tell me anything other than a PR firm made the graphic for them and probably doesn't use or know enough about Windows 8 to know there's not a Facebook app.

If FB runs through an app until they going to loose revenue by not having ads as the browser version does?

trip21 said,
If FB runs through an app until they going to loose revenue by not having ads as the browser version does?

Like they lose revenue with the iPad or Android versions of hte app?

I understand they don't make money that way but they never have, basically without the ads in the browser their's no money coming in!

Dot Matrix said,
Looks like a mockup to me.


You are right I believe. It's just to show you can get FB. My bet is on a link to Facebook desktop or touch.facebook.com much like YouTube on wp8 is a link to m.youtube.com.

Wonder how this will integrate? Right now my Facebook messages pop up under "people/contacts." Hopefully this will integrate to a point that I won't get two seperate notifications for one message.

mr_han_solo said,
Wonder how this will integrate? Right now my Facebook messages pop up under "people/contacts." Hopefully this will integrate to a point that I won't get two seperate notifications for one message.

Yea The Messaging apps needs an option to turn off messages by service and not all on or off. I get two pop ups from Messenger and Skype because my contacts list on both. I got rid of Skype because I was just playing around with it.

"Facebook app running on the top left hand corner of the Start screen of the tablet"

I think the picture of the start menu is an old version or mock-up of the Start Menu. The Mail and Travel apps don't even look like that on Windows 8 color wise and the size of the envelope image.

Doli said,
"Facebook app running on the top left hand corner of the Start screen of the tablet"

I think the picture of the start menu is an old version or mock-up of the Start Menu. The Mail and Travel apps don't even look like that on Windows 8 color wise and the size of the envelope image.

This bro seems right on target.

Why even post that response from Microsoft. That's just free advertising. "Microsoft declined to comment on the ad" would have been more appropriate.

Phasma said,
Why even post that response from Microsoft. That's just free advertising. "Microsoft declined to comment on the ad" would have been more appropriate.

We have to be fair...

John Callaham said,

We have to be fair...

Ok, I understand, but you asked for a response on the ad. Instead you got some off-topic general statement. So it's fair to say that did not respond about the ad. (Maybe "declined" was not completely acurate.)

Phasma said,
Ok, I understand, but you asked for a response on the ad. Instead you got some off-topic general statement. So it's fair to say that did not respond about the ad. (Maybe "declined" was not completely acurate.)

I *think* I know what your trying to say but in no way was that "canned statement" an sell. It stands out as a canned statement that many companies use with similar terminology when asked on the spot. Neowin quoting did not boost/enhance the statement or MS in my mind and I hope the average reader is of sufficient intelligence to realise it for what it is, an obvious canned response and not a direct response. Its still relevant they sent the non response though and should be quoted.
You think we are all too silly to realise?

I just dont get some apps...why? I understand on mobile, but WinRT/8....why not just use IE? I got frustrated with a buddy that expressed dissapointment that his Surface didnt have CNBC app, my question was "why not just use the website?", "Uhhhhhhhhhhh". I guess people are expecting apps now. Which sucks because we are moving away from open standards and back in to native languages. Does that seem backwards to you? I remember when web apps started getting big a few years ago thinking "finally, I dont need to know 3 languages to make one UI".

MikeInBA said,
I just dont get some apps...why? I understand on mobile, but WinRT/8....why not just use IE? I got frustrated with a buddy that expressed dissapointment that his Surface didnt have CNBC app, my question was "why not just use the website?", "Uhhhhhhhhhhh". I guess people are expecting apps now. Which sucks because we are moving away from open standards and back in to native languages. Does that seem backwards to you? I remember when web apps started getting big a few years ago thinking "finally, I dont need to know 3 languages to make one UI".

Web isn't really meant for touching. The text is so small, and easy to miss with the finger.

Dot Matrix said,
Web isn't really meant for touching. The text is so small, and easy to miss with the finger.
Honestly, a binary assessment like that is way off. Rarely do I find the desktop version of a website, especially on my Series 7 Slate, hard to use. On a phone, absolutely. But on a full size device like a surface, ipad, etc.... its just rare.

Frankly, I find the obsession with Apps a bit overblown. I prefer a mobile version of a website on my phone and the desktop on a slate. As the touch option starts showing up in user agent strings I expect even the desktop versions of websites will morph into touch friendly.

The site works, but it's not an experience to brag about. Facebook's site is not made for touch nor is it optimized at all for such use. There are hidden controls, links have have to be tapped two times, the sidebar jumps around sometimes, and a lot of screen space is wasted.

Either Facebook needs a tablet optimized site that can push notifications (don't know if that's possible with Windows RT) or a dedicated app.

Dot Matrix said,

Web isn't really meant for touching. The text is so small, and easy to miss with the finger.

Obviously, a web page made for a laptop won't work well on a tablet, but web sites designed for mobile perform very well on mobile.

wixostrix said,
The site works, but it's not an experience to brag about. Facebook's site is not made for touch nor is it optimized at all for such use. There are hidden controls, links have have to be tapped two times, the sidebar jumps around sometimes, and a lot of screen space is wasted.

Either Facebook needs a tablet optimized site that can push notifications (don't know if that's possible with Windows RT) or a dedicated app.

Agreed, hover controls are the only really hard thing to navigate. However, that is a small subset of the functions on facebook, plain and simple.

MikeInBA said,
I remember when web apps started getting big a few years ago thinking "finally, I dont need to know 3 languages to make one UI".

Except for, you know, HTML/XML, CSS and JavaScript?

MikeInBA said,
I just dont get some apps...why? I understand on mobile, but WinRT/8....why not just use IE? I got frustrated with a buddy that expressed dissapointment that his Surface didnt have CNBC app, my question was "why not just use the website?", "Uhhhhhhhhhhh". I guess people are expecting apps now. Which sucks because we are moving away from open standards and back in to native languages. Does that seem backwards to you? I remember when web apps started getting big a few years ago thinking "finally, I dont need to know 3 languages to make one UI".

For me, apps always provide a much better experience than their related website.

They're not hosted in a separate application (i.e. a web browser); the operating system hosts them. This provides a better experience for a few reasons, but one reason is that we don't have to put up with any of the chrome from that separate application.

Page loading in apps is a much better experience. Often when a webpage loads, even if a link or button is clicked, the whole page will refresh and it will be blank for a certain amount of milliseconds or seconds. When pages or forms load in apps, the loading tends to be seamless and the whole app chrome does not fully refresh in such a messy, ugly way. This point is hard for me to explain, but you'll probably understand what I mean.

When using an app instead of a website, the app doesn't have to rely on being hosted at a specific IP address, and forms and pages don't have to be accessed by unique, specific URLs. This isn't much of a problem for the user, as pages within a website are accessed via links or buttons and they could just bookmark the website's index page, but it's still a quality of websites that makes them worse than apps, in my opinion.

One of the main benefits of apps over websites is that they can usually be more integrated into the operating system and make use of its APIs. For example, in Windows 8, an app can make use of the Notifications API, the Contracts API etc. Notifications in a Facebook app that make use of the Notifications API could be especially useful to users.

Mulsivaas said,

http://touch.facebook.com is totally optimized for touch. I don't know what you're talking about.

That version of the website doesn't provide many of the functions that the full website provides (I believe the user you quoted was talking about the full website for a reason). Perhaps a Windows 8 app could solve that, along with providing a suitable touch-first interface