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October 10, 2011

Facebook releases its iPad app after long wait

Adds social gaming support on the mobile versions of its online service

By CBR Staff Writer

Facebook has released its long-awaited iPad app.

After a year-and-a-half wait of speculation, Facebook has announced that its official iPad application was available as a free download from the Apple App Store.The social networking site has also introduced social gaming support on the mobile versions of its online service.

It is estimated that the two new Facebook’s innovations could generate revenue from the more than 350 million users who access its service on mobile devices every month. The company has around 800 million users worldwide.

Facebook mobile engineer Leon Dubinsky said many of users have been asking about Facebook for iPad. "Today, it’s finally here. With the iPad app, you get the full Facebook experience, right at your fingertips. It’s a fun, colorful way to keep up with friends, share photos, chat and more," said Dubinsky.

The company said that, with the new tools, a tighter integration with third-party social games and applications is now possible with the mobile versions of Facebook website. In addition, smartphone users will also receive alerts in their newsfeed when their friends play certain games or invite them to play along with them, said Facebook.

The company added that its new mobile app will provide bookmarks within the website of a user’s favourite games, enhanced photo-viewing capabilities and messaging capabilities. The iPad app will allow users to chat with friends and play games on Facebook in full-screen mode, the company said.

However, the company needs third-party app developers to support credits in the mobile versions of the games that interact with Facebook. The company said the rule only applies to games aimed at users of the Facebook website developed using HTML5 technology and accessed through a standard browser.

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The new iPhone app would not support Facebook’s Credits currency. This is in accordance with Apple’s terms of service, said Facebook.

Facebook software development engineer Luke Shepard said Facebook is extending its platform on mobile.

"You can now easily reach the 350 million people who use Facebook every month on a mobile device," said Shepard.

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