The two social network and media sharing powerhouses on mobile platforms, Facebook and Twitter, both happened to issue significant updates to their smartphone apps yesterday. By enhancing sharing and search/discovery tools Facebook and Twitter, respectively, are bringing to their apps more of the functionality and versatility that users have expected from the full Web sites.
Facebook 5.2 for both iOS and Android most significantly adds to the apps a share feature that is already available on the Web and mobile Web versions. It is easier for a user now to tap an item in their own newsfeed and quickly share it with their friends. A “Share” function has been added to the “Like” and “Comment” buttons at the bottom of every post. This adds a Twitter-like retweet aspect to the social network and could likely increase the sheer volume of material flooding people’s newsfeeds.
Twitter updates its app to version 5.1 and brings to mobile a more efficient way to discover content. Using Discover button in the iOS and Android apps reveals more content from the tweet. Instead of a shortened URL, the stream will include the first pieces of content or preview images from the post. Story summaries, publication names and thumbnails will appear in the stream. “All of this adds up to fewer taps, fewer screen views and more content for you to enjoy, faster,” Twitter says at its engineering blog.
Migrating more Web features and functionality to the mobile experience has become increasingly important to both of the major social networks as they see massive amounts of their traffic come from devices.