Facebook to reportedly release a suite of apps this year

Facebook seems to have moved passed the debacle of the debut for its Android launcher, Facebook Home. Reports have suggested that Facebook is prepping a suite of standalone applications to hit app stores this year.

 

Mobile still is the ultimate destination for Facebook, at least this year, and The Verge has learnt that the social networking website will be releasing a whole bunch of standalone apps that tie in to its services. The publication draws attention to the fact that Facebook used to be filled to the brim in its earlier days with features like classifieds, comics, games and links.

 

Over time, Facebook has learnt to unbundle these, especially with apps coming into the picture. The social networking website aims to unbundle even further this year. For one, it has already applied a massive update to its Messenger on both Android and iOS platforms.

 

The app is now sporting a spanking new look, draped in Facebook colours of blue and white. The app is way more lightweight, faster and snappier. Best of all is the fact that it barely has any Facebook branding on it, in an aim to make it more independent. Besides this, Facebook has taken advantage of the fact that Android allows users to choose their default messaging app and so Messenger can now double up as your SMS app as well.

 

Recent rumours have also pointed to the fact that Facebook is shifting its attention to news in a massive way. Besides releasing a whole new trending column for the web version of the service that tells you what people are talking about and a tweak to the News Feed algorithms to surface news content, Facebook is also prepping a mobile app for news. The app is to be called Paper and will take Flipboard head on. A curated centre for all important stories, you will also be able to check out relevant status messages from Facebook on it.

 

Other opportunities that Facebook could have is in the finer features like Calendar and Search, says the publication. Building on essential Facebook products like Events and Graph Search, standalone Facebook apps could help the social network hit a goldmine of users and data. There is, however, nothing to suggest that these apps could come up any time soon, or if at all.

 

Poke and Facebook camera, two of the social network’s attempts to fragment went down without a fight while Facebook Home still seems to be around, evolving to meet the ever- changing needs of an Android user, but that’s about it for Facebook for now.

 

Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the Mobile World Congress, slated to be held in Barcelona towards the end of February. That itself is a clear indication that Zuck and Co. are training their guns towards mobile users. Let’s see what the year has in store for the biggest social networking website yet.

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