Facebook for Windows 8.1 now available

Hot on the heels of Windows 8.1 itself, Facebook for Windows 8.1 is now available to download in the Windows Store. With Facebook for Windows 8.1, you get direct access to your Facebook News Feed right from your Start screen where you can stay connected with your friends and family.

Facebook for Windows 8.1 will feel familiar because it uses the same layout and visual look and feel you see on Facebook.com – making it super easy to use. You will see new friend requests, messages, and notifications at your top right. Your News Feed is there as you would expect it to be. You can compose a new post, add photos or check in. You can switch between your different feeds (e.g. Group, Photos, Following, Family, etc.) so you see all the news and updates you want to see.

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On your right, you have your friends list where you can see who is available to chat. With Facebook integrated into Windows Phone, you can send friends with Windows Phones messages directly from Facebook for Windows 8.1 as if you were sending them a text (that’s assuming they’ve connected their Windows Phone to Facebook). On your left is the sidebar for quick access to things like your friends page, messages, photos, your pages (I manage a page for my puppy Kilo), your groups and the Nearby feature which presents all the recent places your friends have checked in to using Bing Maps. On your friends page, you can use semantic zoom to quickly sort your friends alphabetically for quick navigation.

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You can access all of your Facebook photo albums in Facebook for Windows 8.1. When you click on a photo – either in one of your photo albums or on your News Feed – it will display at full screen where you can pinch or stretch to zoom in on a photo with your fingers on your tablet. You can Like the photo, leave a comment or tag a person.

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You can snap Facebook for Windows 8.1 next to another app and keep it up on your screen while you’re writing emails in the Mail app or reading RSS feeds via Digg Reader in IE11. When snapped on the screen with another app, Facebook for Windows 8.1 will automatically update with new posts.

You will also get toast notifications in Windows 8.1 based on your Facebook notifications while the app is running in the background. Your notification count will show up on your lock screen as well as part of Facebook for Windows 8.1’s live tile on your Start screen.

And Facebook for Windows 8.1 supports the new tile sizes in Windows 8.1 for your Start screen. With a large tile – you’ll see high quality images show up based on your notifications (e.g. if someone leaves a comment on a post of yours, their comment and profile picture show up as part of the live tile).

If you haven’t already updated your Windows 8 device to Windows 8.1 – you should! Then go download Facebook for Windows 8.1. It has become a critical app on my Start screen.

You can also download Facebook for Windows Phone as well.