Facebook 5.1 Released with Improved Messaging, Photo Sharing

Facebook today released version 5.1 of its iOS app, which adds a new way of messaging friends and sharing multiple photos at once. The updated Facebook app now comes with a friend list on the right that you can use to easily start a private conversation. You can swipe left to access the chat panel, and add friends you contact the most to the top of the list. To customize the Favorites list, you can hit an Edit button to start "pinning" your friends in the Favorites section.

You can swipe from anywhere in the app to open the friend's sidebar and send messages. Overall, the performance of the app seems to be improved in terms of responsiveness of animations and loading times; swiping to access the sidebar panels feels faster, fluid, and more natural. Facebook had long been criticized for the poor quality of its former iOS app, but since the release of version 5.0, and even more with version 5.1 today, the Facebook mobile team has dramatically increased the quality of the app.

Alongside improvements for friends activity and possibility to send Facebook Gifts in the US, you can now easily share multiple photos from a camera screen reminiscent of Facebook's standalone Camera app.

Facebook 5.1 is available on the App Store.