Facebook flexes iOS app by adding voice and video messaging

One social app to rule them all
One social app to rule them all

It may have been a case of app envy, but whatever prompted Facebook to update its iOS app Monday has made it easier for users to send video and voice messages.

After the update, a "plus" icon to the left of the text entry box expands to reveal new options for writing a wall posts or sending a message.

Users can now tap the microphone icon to send quick voice messages to friends directly from their smartphone or tablet.

Posting photos and videos works much the same way, letting users tap on the camera icon to record videos and post directly to Facebook without leaving the app.

Facebook app consolidation

The update also goes beyond messaging to improve the app's location services with the Nearby tab.

With Nearby, users can check into places more accurately, showing a scrolling list of notable hotspots in the general area.

While users were previously able to send short voice messages through Facebook Messenger, that functionality is now built into the regular Facebook app.

Meanwhile, the addition of in-app video recording and sharing could explain the social network recently blocking access to Twitter's Vine video app.

Facebook's official line referred to apps that "replicate core functionality," which Vine's video sharing arguably would have done now that video is a part of the core Facebook app.

Whether or not the update is essentially justification for social network rivalry the new features are great news for users, who can now make more full use of their Facebook account without the need to swap between multiple apps.