Facebook following up privacy change with iPhone app

After announcing a revamped approach to user privacy control this week, theFacebook team is now preparing to launch a new and improved Facebook application for the iPhone.

The folks at Facebook don't seem to be taking much downtime this summer. After announcing a revamped approach to user privacy control this week, the Facebook team is now preparing to launch a new and improved Facebook application for the iPhone.

All the changes come as Facebook makes big gains in the social media world. The site just recently overtook MySpace for the first time as America's most popular social network. Add onto that the company's upcoming Xbox integration and recent high-profile personalized URL addition, and things certainly seem to be going Facebook's way.

Facebook: From Privacy to iPhone

The updated Facebook iPhone app, one would imagine, will only add to the buzz. The app, said to be "98 percent done," is being called Facebook for iPhone 3.0. An actual release date has not been finalised, according to an announcement posted to Facebook's iPhone page -- but that's not stopping us from getting a sneak peek at what's inside.

The next Facebook iPhone app will feature a completely new home screen with easier access to the site's various functions. It'll also incorporate the live-streaming news feed now seen on Facebook's Web interface, along with the recently added "like" option to express your support for friends' updates. The Facebook for iPhone 3.0 home screen will offer expanded customisation, too, allowing you to add links to profiles and pages of your choice.

Other improvements said to be on tap:

o Expanded photo functionality, including the ability to create new albums, upload photos directly into an album, zoom into photos, and tag photos

o Built-in options to call or text your Facebook friends from within the application

o Improved handling of notifications

o Added support for events, including the ability to RSVP

o Added support for notes and pages

Support for push notification, one of the features added into the iPhone 3.0 operating system, won't make it into this release. It is, however, being planned for a 3.1 update tentatively scheduled to ship later this summer.

Connect with JR Raphael on Twitter (@jr_raphael) or via his Web site, jrstart.com.

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