In its ongoing effort to fend off competition from—and catch up to—Google+, Facebook on Tuesday launched a revamped version of its iPhone app that makes it easier for users to customize their posts and select their audience.
The updates to the iPhone app mirror Facebook’s recent revisions to features on its website, which in turn are similar to some Google+ offerings. As on Google’s service, Facebook app users can now select the precise audience for their status updates—the public, just their friends, or other custom-crafted friends lists. Users can also easily designate both their location and accompanying friends in those status posts, a feature that was previously available only in the app’s “check in” feature. And links discovered in Facebook can now easily be reshared via the iPhone app. The app revisions also include a number of bug fixes.
Facebook has been aggressive in countering features offered by Google+ since the rival service launched this summer. In early August, Facebook launched Messenger for Mobile, a separate app apparently designed to compete with Google+’s Huddle functionality. Despite the new rivalry, however, Facebook seems to be holding its own: The site saw 162 million unique visitors in July, according to comScore, an online traffic tracker. That’s an 11 percent increase from July 2010.
Facebook 3.5 is free, and compatible with devices running iOS 3.0 or later.