Apple fans with the latest iPhones can now use the touch-sensitive capabilities of their devices on the mobile version of Facebook. Version 41.0 of Facebook's iOS app, which became available on the iTunes store today, comes with support for Apple's 3D Touch technology, which lets users control their devices based on how much pressure they apply to the screens.
3D Touch was unveiled late last month with the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The capability enables new gesture controls such as "Peek and Pop," which lets a user peek at an app with a light touch or pop into content by pressing down harder.
Today's update of the iOS Facebook app works with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches running iOS 7.0 or later. However, the 3D Touch capability is available only on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which run the latest version of Apple's mobile OS, iOS 9.
3D Touch for Photos, Videos, Posts
John Jackson, research vice president for mobile and connected platforms at the analyst firm IDC, told us last month that the rollout of 3D Touch was a "risk design move" for Apple, as it represented a significant modification to the company's existing user interface, which customers have long been accustomed to using. However, Apple's approach seems to provide a "thoughtful" and effective improvement in how users can access apps, he added.
Facebook's latest iOS update to support 3D Touch allows users with new iPhones to more quickly navigate to three actions from the home screen: taking photos or videos; uploading photos or videos; or writing posts. The Quick Actions feature of 3D Touch enables up to four context menu actions, so it's possible Facebook could add support for a fourth action at a later point.
'More Than a Right Click'
Facebook-owned Instagram has already added support for 3D Touch, with gesture-controlled shortcuts to four actions: search, direct, activity and creation. That app also lets users take advantage of Apple's new Peek and Pop capabilities.
"For Instagram, 3D Touch is much more than a 2015 version of the 'right click,' Instagram software engineer Ryan Nystrom noted in recent blog post on the company's Web site. "The interaction adds another level of depth and carries a different intent."
Unlike right click, with 3D Touch, Nystrom said, "You aren't yet committed to navigating to the content, but it's clear that you are interested. With this in mind, Peek and Pop gives you a glimpse of what lies ahead and lets you quickly back out to continue browsing."
Other apps that have added support for 3D Touch since iOS 9 came out include Dropbox, Pinterest, Evernote and News 360.