Microsoft brings Facebook widget to Windows 11 – and expect many more

Windows 11 showing widget panel
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Windows 11 has a new preview build available on its earliest testing channel, which introduces a widget for Facebook among other tweaks.

This is preview build 25357 for the Canary channel, and as part of Microsoft’s recent push with widgets, Facebook has now joined the fold – a pretty major addition, of course.

As with other widgets, this gives you at-a-glance highlights of, for example, recent notifications from the social media platform.

Testers who want to try it will need to visit the Microsoft Store and download the Facebook app – or if it’s already on the host PC, ensure the client is updated to the latest version. Then, you can simply add the Facebook widget to the panel as normal (via the picker, the ‘+’ icon on the board).

More widgets are coming for other services, as Microsoft notes: “You should expect to see additional new widgets as more developers create and release widgets for their apps.”

The other major move with this preview build – aside from stuff for developers – is that a revamped volume mixer is now present in Quick Settings.

This new mixer beefs up functionality to allow for controlling the volume on a per-app basis, so for example, you could lower the volume on the browser, while leaving it at a higher level for everything else on the system. There are also controls to swiftly swap output devices on-the-fly if needed.

For full details on all the changes in preview build 25357, check out Microsoft’s blog post.

Analysis: Get ready for more widgets – and soon, probably

As we’ve mentioned recently, Microsoft is driving quite hard to make widgets a bigger thing in Windows 11, and the introduction of Facebook to the widget club is clearly another sizeable step forward here.

This comes on top of introducing animated icons for widgets, and most tellingly, expanding the widget panel to a larger size (three columns rather than two). All of that’s still in testing, but there’s even chatter that widgets will eventually get the ability to leave their panel and be dragged onto the desktop. The latter point remains a rumor, though.

Tellingly, in its blog post for the new build, the software giant again prodded Windows software developers to create their own widgets, linking to resources to help them do so. Microsoft also specifically asked testers for comments on the latest changes, too, using the Widgets feedback link (in the widgets picker).

It very much seems, then, that Microsoft is intent on building out this corner of the Windows 11 interface considerably.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).