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Former Experience Designer for Windows Phone, Arturo Toledo, tells you why the new Facebook app is still very Modern

With the arrival of the new Facebook beta app for Windows Phone 8 this week, the discussion immediately focused on two aspects (1) functionality (2) design. The first one is one of those “in motion” issues that all betas face, meaning some functions may yet have been added (especially when combined with the ever changing feature set of the Facebook ecosystem). The second though ranges from personal opinion to a higher discussion of Design Principles.

More specifically, the question of whether the new Facebook app is “Metro” enough (or whatever you want to call the Modern UI Design Principles that runs through Windows Phone) has become one of the hot topics amongst commenters.

Facebook Beta for Windows Phone 8
The new Facebook app: Modern or not? 

Arturo Toledo, who used to be the Senior User Experience Designer for Windows Phone, has now weighed in on the topic via Twitter and deeper on his blog. In short, he articulates that the new Facebook app is very much in line with current Windows Phone design principles, albeit veering from the traditional Panorama/Pivot options that users are familiar with.

In his detailed and fascinating article, Toledo explains just what “Modern” means (it’s not being “flat” or just having Pivots). Though he’s not necessarily saying the new Facebook app is ideally designed, it is very much in the spirit of Windows Phone and it should be celebrated:

“There couldn’t be better news for Windows Phone about seeing the Beta for the new Facebook app. Finally after 100K apps, a sign of maturity in the ecosystem. When developers and designers “feel part of” an ecosystem they push it to the next level. That’s what’s happening here and it must be celebrated by everyone who cares about the ecosystem.”

Toledo’s position is that the Facebook app not only uses a lot of the Modern principles (eschewing skeuomorphism, for instance) but the designers were so comfortable with the platform, that they’re pushing and evolving it to the next level:

"...developers and designers should not have to force their stories, their experiences to these two design patterns. If they work for your experience go ahead, use them but don’t just use them because Visual Studio has a Create New Panorama Project or Create a New Pivot Project. Who is the star of the show? Windows Phone? Or the experiences that apps provide?"

Indeed, a common complaint amongst some is that “all Windows Phone apps look alike”. While common Design Principles are to be rewarded, Toledo argues that you can have it both ways: obey common Design Principles without having everything look the same.

We won’t spoil all of Toledo’s observations as you should really grab a cup of coffee and read the whole piece. It’s a fascinating discussion on what makes Modern, how the UX can evolve and even some of the legacy that went into the Modern UI design.

If you care about Windows Phone’s history and future, you should definitely go read it. Also, check out his Metro Design series for more details on Modern UI.

Source: Toledo2

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Reader comments

Former Experience Designer for Windows Phone, Arturo Toledo, tells you why the new Facebook app is still very Modern

115 Comments

I agree! I loved the look of the last FB app. It was totally different than the iDroid versions, and its something that I showed people when bragging about how WP is different, and modern.. Now our FB app looks similar to the others.. It just feels like a step in the wrong direction, and its sad. I think its already time for a new design.

Sorry, I don't like it. Looks like chrome elements and doesn't speak to any design language present in any native application on a wp8 device. They could've changed it, but not like this.

Thx goodness in not a Facebook fiend.

Most of the stuff that is copied over from the android version. The menu bar with buttons on it. Its chrome, and would have been easy to fix without basically porting android.

No it isn't. It's copied from touch version of Facebook. Which is also the source of inspiration for Android version.

But it seems like its pretty pervasive throughout the app. I think its really easy to keep facebooks identity without completely copying the apps from other platforms. Should be a balance at the least, but that is all Facebook and no WP at all.

In black, I agree. Think with the right colors it would look much better, especially better than the android app.

I think we all need to admit that the original iOS app is the source of inspiration for the Android and the new WP fb apps.  The original iOS app is also the inspiration for the mobile website.  Give props where props are due.

Sorry, but you're just wrong on this (or don't understand what chrome means). The new beta has the same icons/notification as the old version, they're just more prominent now with the addition Menu/section change (L) and Facebook Chat/Favorites (R).They just use the same icons as the FB design entails, to ensure user familiarity.

Chrome is to be minimized in Metro but not necessarily completely removed. The whole point of Arturo's article is that brands/companies need to find a way to express their own identity through the Modern UI. It's not about giving up your identity in the name of dictated design principles.

http://i.imgur.com/uJDHhud.png

They didn't need to copy the android app to keep facebooks identity though.
That updated peope hub, a more metro banner with the usual visual clues to swipe left or right instead of those pointless buttons, and a Facebook color scheme and it does both. Keeps a metro design consistent with the look and the way we interact with our phones and keeps Facebook identity.
No reason to make the app looks exactly the same to make people comfortable. If they can't get past the app, they will never pick up a wp8 that has a wildly different OS in the first place. It seems lazy. They aren't expressing themselves through the modern UI, the cloned the android app. Its not even arguable, the differences are miniscule ( though more apparent when put next to the iOS version.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IkQZ8IpFa-I/UVjatf8MzwI/AAAAAAAAVpM/WtCtuzHKWW...

Something like that, Facebook colors, a "metro" banner at the top with the familiar icons, no buttons, no google cards, and getting rid of the ridiculous, clunky drawers that feel tacked on wont take away the identity ( though you would definitely realize you didn't accidentally pick up an android phone. Even the way you interact and navigate in the app is different from the rest of the OS. Its a joke.

Again, trying to make someone from iOS/android comfortable is a bs excuse. If they come to WP, they want the windows phone experience. Not the fraction of the apps available to their previous ecosystem.

The fact that you reference the Android app instead of Facebook mobile site shows what your focus is on. It also seems to indicate that you're not willing to acknowledge the importance of user familiarity. Like it or not most users of Windows Phone isn't having their first interaction with Facebook from the phone.
It is also important that Brand identity remain a focus point. No company wants to simply be a cog in the machine of another company and that includes Facebook.

Yes, I get that the apps look similar to the mobile site. It looks nearly identical to the android app though, and I don't see the point in arguing that.

Again, anyone bothered by the fact that the WP Facebook app doesn't look exactly like the mobile, or android, or iOS apps ( and you could make the app look extremely similar
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IkQZ8IpFa-I/UVjatf8MzwI/AAAAAAAAVpM/WtCtuzHKWW...
like that with the same banner as in the beta minus the buttons and pages to the left and right instead of the drawers that feel clunky and tacked on ) wont pick up WP8 seeing as it looks wildly different from any other phone OS. If that's such a big deal in the app department, the OS is hopeless.

I fail to see how Facebook would lose its brand identity by getting rid of the useless chrome and focusing on the content of the apps. You would have all the same information on the screen, with a familiar color scheme and familiar icons ( minus those horrible, useless buttons in the menu ) with a unique WP twist instead of using the lazy excuse that someone would forget or couldn't tell they were using Facebook.

Even while the previous app has Facebook scrawled across the top of the screen.

They didn't need to copy the android app to keep facebooks identity though.
That updated peope hub, a more metro banner with the usual visual clues to swipe left or right instead of those pointless buttons, and a Facebook color scheme and it does both. Keeps a metro design consistent with the look and the way we interact with our phones and keeps Facebook identity.
No reason to make the app looks exactly the same to make people comfortable. If they can't get past the app, they will never pick up a wp8 that has a wildly different OS in the first place. It seems lazy.

If someone is switching to WP from other platforms, they want the WP experience, not iOS or android. Its not for the whopping 135k apps when they have hundreds of thousands more, and more important apps at that. That excuse is pure BS.

I don't use facebook so this really doesn't matter to me but I think your missing the point people like the design of the old app more not that people think everyone needs to rigidly follow the design guide. The common motifs of the ecosystem are defined by the ecosystem not exclusively by a style guide nor are they static or black and white. The degree to which microsoft and facebook experiment with or balances familiarity, identity, and UI conventions is up to microsoft and facebook. But as a user I have a right to say that I feel that this app doesn't do as good job of follow UI convention as it's predecessor and suffers for it and in my own way influence convention. Though that doesn't mean another a may not benfefit for defying convention. I feel the old app did a great job of maintaining facebooks identity, UI convention, and astetic appel.
To be frank the new app looks more cluttered for example the borders around updates in feeds, the different colored pages when you side swipe, and the extra buttons/more predominate chrome like element at the top. And I said chrome like elements because you seem hung up on the definition of chrome. 

Yeah but this one you can swipe between all five areas. Its quite awesome. I still like the old better thought, just needs to be a bit smoother. Latest update improved it vastly.

Why are you all COS 90 Complaining about this wonderful app. The Old one was just UGLY and useless....I mean a white elephant on my phone. If you wanna complain about chrome features, why didn't you all start with the Twitter app update when it came out. It also looks the same on droid/iOS. You know what, the guys behind this have done a real good job to bring the app inline with the others and they deserve to be celebrated not ranted upon. Expected this app looks and features way back and now MS has brought it and you all complaining....be grateful guys...SMH

Because ppl are never happy... They wanted a better fb app Microsoft gave them one...so now they want the old layout...

The same layout could perhaps, make easier for users who #switch from other platforms. That is why Windows Phone was much more a user-friendly platform among all OS

If this is the way of the Modern/Metro, I'm sorry.
I chose specifically WP8 phone because it's not android. It works as a phone should, it's natural to use.
FB beta really looks like a FB app designed by people who have never used WP before and have no idea how it works.  Update the original with new features (and correct jumping to top when returning from reading status/replies) and I'll be happy. I've used the android-version enough ;)

I think its a great app,its important for Facebook to have brand familiarity also.maybe this is what it will take to get instagram also,Facebook owns them maybe now Facebook will say yes the app matches our brand and you can have instagram.funny that instagram will most likely launch with the 928 and we now have a Facebook app that looks like Facebook built it.

its not metro. Metro is about simplicity, beauty, typography, and most importantly, content. Modern UI, maybe, though. (No Metro and Modern UI are not the same. Modern UI is a UI {User Interface} while Metro is a design philosophy and style.)

Nice article. I was beginning to think I was the only one who liked the new app and thought it fit within the Metro design.

Ditto. I love the new app. It's leaps and bounds ahead of the original. The original one was so basic that it was a pain to use.
 

Except for that stupidly huge bar at the top, I like the design of the old app. If they just added the features from the new app to the old one then I'd be happy.

What phone do you have? I have an Ativ S and it doesn't seem that obtrusive. Maybe on a smaller screen it seems too large perhaps.

I have the 8X. And it might only take up about a fourth of the screen, but I'd rather they shrink that and allow for more room in the newsfeed to show another post.

I don't think that bar would seem so huge if they would hide that stupid status bar at the top. I thought we got away from that in WP.

While that would make the bar smaller, I can't really think of an elegant solution to access notifictions/messages/etc.
 
I guess you could put them on the left side just barely peeking out and you and swiping would move the screen just enouh to show those buttons and then you could press them?

The status bar doesn't show up for me in the old app; it's fullscreen. But I do see the status bar on the new one.

Ya, I meant on the new one. I actually really liked the look of the old one. It needed some functionality improvements though which the beta has addressed.

"it will all be the same, look the same, feel the same..." sounds kinda boring. I'm cool with apps looking different as long as they work well, and this one def works better than the old one.

I don't see to much different than the one on crappy Android! Make Windows Phone different from the others and stand out... WP8 All Day!

what I don't like is that the side "pivots" are hidden with no visual cues indicating you can swipe to them.  Sure, you tap the icon at the top of the page to reveal them, but then I want to use the back key to make them go away and end up closing the app.  :(  It's not that bad and I can learn, but it's a bit off of what I expect.

That's right, back button functionality is a must in this case. And there are buttons for these pivots, so why not save swiping for customisable screens.

That's why I didn't know until today you could swipe to access them. The way other apps handle their "carousel of screens" is by showing a little bit of the next screen. That's enough of a visual cue that you can make the assumption that you're able to swipe over.

He left on his own accord, not fired and I'll take his opinion on design as he was one of the principles behind Windows Phone's look. So no, not 'nuff said.

If you disagree with his argument then do so. Don't attack the man because you have nothing better to articulate.

Joe stood up on the stage and told me 2010 (based on the same design principles) that when I pick up my phone or my granny and when we open system apps or third party apps, it will all be the same, feel the same, look the same. Like we never opened an app. Now it does only until you open that ugly Facebook app to feel like you've opened touch.facebook.com on an iOS in 2014. If this is the same man who walked out after laying out the design principles and he is defending this new Facebook design, of course its nuff said. The design is/was strong enough to have sustained WP branding while accommodating other brands, but he himself agreeing this as the vision of Metro/Modern isn't on.

Are people supposed to stay in the same job forever? People gain all the experience they can in a company and then move on. There are too many non-qualified people in forums stating their opinion as fact.

Love this new version. Feels powerful, feature loaded, and it doesn't make me feel like I'm embarrassed to show off my phone, especially the Facebook app now. Just wish the live tile would do more.

It's in beta right now, so maybe we can expect more: functionality AND design. Look at the icons: no skeuomorphism. The top bar icons could also have made more Modern like, and the frames around each post are just useless, but it still is a good combination of both native worlds. Sad the there aren't additional vertical swipe screens to be customised, e. g. for FB pages or filtered lists and groups.
Still it is a Modern UI app, which hopefully brings our platform new benefit in user acceptance and switching.

If people are deterred from switching to WP because the Facebook app looks different, I doubt they would ever even make it past the WP8 OS

That's not what I was saying. The "new" FB app has more functionality than the current one, and many people (not me) choose their mobile platform because of social services integration. A (in ones individual means) "better" app could get more people onto WP.

I still think it looks pretty metro (when you add the lock screen). But the main reason I love the app is because of the functionality it now has. The old Facebook app looked very metro, but it didn't WORK like metro- it barely did anything right, and most of its functions were at least two swipes and a tap away.

The new app may look like android's app, but all of its main functions are right at your fingertips. That's how windows phone is supposed to work.

And functionality always ALWAYS should come first.

Exactly what I thought. When I saw the new fb app I said to my girlfriend that couldn't tell the difference between it and the android fb app on our tab 2!

Why is that a bad thing from a user experience standpoint? Should people switching from Android have to be immersed in an  unfamiliar environment just to please UX fashionistas? There will always be a conflict between companies who want to maintain their own visual identity and user experience versus Design Principles of a given platform (assuming they have them). The question is about finding a middle ground.

If people are turned off by the fact that Facebook looks different, why would anyone even pick up WP8. I get the brand identity, but there should be a balance. Not just copying the android version, that's all Facebook and no WP.

Why should they cater to android/iOS users and making them comfortable? Why would they switch to WP if not for the WP experience? And how would they even make it past the start screen if the Facebook app would be a deal breaker? Should I, as a WP user, be immersed in an unfamiliar environment everytime I open one of my most used apps in the hopes that someone might be more comfortable? If I wanted my chosen OS and ecosystm to be a jumbled mess I would still have my s3.

Daniel you aren't really advocating that UX on WP shouldn't be all integrated and fluid! That Facebook app kills all the intuitiveness WP UI has and you are defending it real hard. Why would a streamlined app design across the whole platform not be a good thing?

Sure, some apps can stick out. But this is arguably the most important app for any ecosystem. It should showcase the great things about your phone. Instead it gives me flashbacks to my s3. It would gave been so easy to make a more metro app that fits with WP and still keep facebooks identity.

They are defending it pretty hard though. Saying it shows ecosytem maturity... How? By porting an android app and changing some icons?
Or, it makes converts more comfortable. Yeah, because the whole changing to WP8 wouldn't deter them, but a better looking Facebook app would. Its odd. And its an extremely lazy, boring design.

+1 on that link but I don't mind the new app's resemblance to other platforms.  Pandering to metro style can easily lead to a sacrifice of functionality.  The same with when developers pander to skeumorphism on iOS.

See, I dont think they need to pander to the style. Get rid of the unnecessary chrome, change the banner to something more metro and intuitive ( get rid of the pointless buttons ) with visual clues to swipe to the left and right pages ( same as the menu drawers straight from android in the beta ) and keep the messaging, notifications, and friend request icons from the original app and you lose nothing and still keep a metro and more attractive ( not to mention consistent design.

The redesigned people hub I linked is the same exact thing. Put in a Facebook color scheme and it is perfect. Unique to WP, consistent with the OS and how we normally interact with our phones, and still keeps the Facebook identity. This app design was a joke, and I hate to say that. It seems really, really lazy.

I'm definately ready for some functionality to be added to our People hub.  My only worry is that there may be boundaries in place that restrict WP's access to the APIs they need from Fb and Twitter to make that hub as fully functional as the offical apps are.  The people hub will most likely never be as fully-featured as the official devoted apps.  At least not until WP becomes a more successful platform and can leverage more access.

Facebook Beta (5.0.1.0) is not metro (in the language of windows phone). The Facebook app (4.2.1.0) follows the original UX interface much more closely. But with that said, Facebook Beta is a way bettter app than its predecessor. I like the side trays for switching between pages and sections of facebook, and i like how i can actually post as Dj page instead of only using my personal account. It needs some missing features, but for a Microsoft app, it is pretty nice.

I haven't read anything from anyone telling me how it is. Might have some modern elements. So do a ton of android apps, and so will iOS soon, apparently. Its better to say that this app isn't really WP8, and its almost impossible to argue that. Look at the apps next to each other, or do what I did and look at if next to an android version. I can't really count the number of apps ( at least good ones ) that have pointless buttons in them. Was under the impression that they weren't used much in metro, or really any useless chrome. But that seems like all it is.

The main FB app is only used for check-ins with friends on my end. As for the beta, it's awesome. Just needs multiple picture uploads (does video work?) and I'm more than content.

I don't see how the new fb design is any different than the previous in terms of the metro style pivoting.  The only difference is that the headers are taken away so there is more room for content.  You people are aware that you dont have to actually tap the top left and top right buttons to access that info, correct?  It is still just a swipe left or a swipe right.  It's is more simple and completely better.

Then why have buttons at all. Complete waste of space.All you did in the previous app was swipe left and right, its not different. Except now you have some clunky drawers that feel tacked on.

Yeah they can get rid of the buttons. That'd be fine. This design is better though because it takes less actions to complete tasks and those flyouts are always there instead of have to pan through that damn photos section that was pointless. Did anyone ever actually use that? It's much more useful to have messaging there instead.

That's kind of what I'm saying. They can keep the Facebook branding and all of the added functionality and still keep a metro design instead of copying the android app.

Love Facebook Beta and design, messages and notifications come thru in minutes not between a half hour or a hour later.It's fast and very little issues.

It seems to me that people don't read the articles or care what the point of the post is; They just find a reason to spam their opinion, relevant or not.

I'm not sure why people are arguing over whether this app in Metro/Modern with a person who was part of the team that DEFINED what those principles are.

I'm not a designer and I'm sure most of the commenters aren't either. I am a user and the app doesn't feel out of place, on the platform, to me.

The old app sucked. The new one doesn't seem to look out of place on Windows Phone. Metro shouldn't be a form over function design. I belive it was originally designed from subway maps to be the best of form and function.

I think the new Facebook app is great. It's an execellent improvement to the original.

As a designer/creative director myself I strive for consistency, but you need to make accommodations for usability and varied needs. Facebook is a good example where concessions were essential. Facebook hasn't been developed by Microsoft and they handle content differently. So users have certain expectations when they're interfacing with Facebook as opposed to Windows or Windows Phone. Even if the Modern UI look could be made to work with Facebook's current iteration, once they changed functionality we could be faced with some substantial usability and layout issues.

The most important point, however, is that the Modern UI isn't merely dictated by large, cropped typefaces and full bleed photos. There's far more to the aesthetic. If you're going to be so restrictive the end result is a crippled UI.

how about if we just stop talking about silly things like design, and talk about more important things like getting this to WP7 users too?
(although that ultimately remains MS's and the developer group's decision, but still.)

btw, isn't it funny? WP7 users were always beta testers for MS, and now they're not getting to test this beta.

Because WP7 is old and going away. Why keep supporting it when a nee and better version of the OS is out.

it might be fun for you, although i do agree WP8 is better, but there are still many users who bought WP7 devices less than an year ago and can't upgrade to new devices so soon. and MS just can't withdraw support of it's own platform that way (though it's doing exactly the same!)
even the 7.8 update was half-heartedly made. at least they can give us good basic apps! i'm not asking them to release a scaled down version of modern combat 4 for WP7 devices! just a plain simple facebook app, or maybe a skype app (if that's not too resource-intensive).

Why is there not a decent app for Facebook for a phone that claimed to be all about connecting with people ? And why is this not available on 7.8 ? Its like all the good stuff is being kept from people who have backed windows phone since the beginning ! I literally was giddy with excitement when I got my lumia 800 last year and now its been forgotten about

exactly! everyone seems to think they're design experts and know exactly what is and isn't metro lol
i understand people have opinions and might not like the app but this is already becoming ridiculous!
i guess MS should hire all this people who knows better about metro :)
and i rly think all of this is because people are butthurt we got an app similar to Android and iOS lol
well i don't think newcomers will hate it, they will feel familiar and current users who leaves because the app isn't exactly how they wanted are just the same as spoiled brats!
i love WP and i won't let the design of FB app make me stop loving it or leave it! old app is beautiful BUT new app is functional! that's enough for me!

I know I'm one of the minorities, but I loved the look of the old app. I liked that it was different. That being said, its functionality was a disappointment. I'm a little let down that the new one looks so like the Android app, but I do love all the new features. I can only hope that when it becomes the official app, there's some middle ground that is met. On a side note, some basic FB features still need to be implemented in the People, Picture and Me hubs that have been missing since day one. (I.e. Like a photo, or sharing pics or posts.). If that was done, we wouldn't need a FB app (well, for the most part, anyway).

But the new features could have been added without copying the android design. Its not the design of the app that was broken, it was the implementation.

That would have been my preference, but if a melding is met that keeps some of the style of the old app, I'll be happy.

Windows 8 does not use typography very much, if at all. It's all about tiles in Windows 8. Which is pretty bad.

  1. Heres how it could be closer to metro: http://bit.ly/15afhmS
  2. Metro and Modern UI are different things (One is a design philosophy, one is, well, a UI)
  3. Not all of Windows Phone is Metro
  4. The new facebook app has useless chrome (Background around posts, Oversized menu bar) and doesnt really focus on content
  5. The old app isnt much better, nor was it metro either, for it flooded with some useless content, essentially converting content into chrome itself (2 notification areas, one within the pivot; Photos from friends???; News feed seemed to look weird, oversized content banner)
  6. Metro isnt used as much as one would like. Some do it well, though (see Lazyworm Apps' tweetro and metrotube for example, or look at twitter, balancing familiarity, content and typography, and Modern UI/UX)

Nice concept. Almost what I had in mind, but I'm not good with graphics software. Reckon you can help mock up the following?

  1. I would probably have a light and a dark theme, not interchanging as in the concept.
  2. I would also not have the second screen, but basically make it an inner-tile app list similar to how the wpcentral app is done, and allow pinning of these.
  3. For the second screen, remove the top profile picture as it's redundant (see point 4).
  4. Have a 4th screen to the right of the main news feed for timeline, similar to how you've shown.
  5. Remove the cogwheel in the app list for news feed, but put a switch button in the app bar to switch between views.
  6. Keep the header banner as you have in screen 4 for all screens.

I love how the old apps looks. I really enjoy it. I show it off all the time. So many things I love about it. One is I like being able to swipe to almost everything. I also like how when you click on "nearby" you can see where everyone is. You can't do that anymore. Not even on iOS and Droid. But, I do enjoy the function of the new app. It works the way FB should. Now if they could just code the old app to work like the new beta one. That would make it a true WP8 app. This is my opinion of course.

I don't see an option in the settings to set the language just to English (US) or (UK). I like this BETA app but me looking at the feeds with a different language (because of IP localization) just sucks!
The option is there to change the language in touch.facebook.com. I hope they also put it in this app.
 
Is there a way to reach out to MS about this in the app?

Personally I prefer the original version.  I like the smaller view.  But it's not a deal breaker.  Had do dump the beta and go back to the original.  The beta was killing my battery.  I'm not sure if anyone else had the same experience.  But that's mine.

I was happy with the design of the originally released app. This new beta feels like the competitor's app without a soul. What's stopping everyone from releasing apps without a metro feel or look.

I don't care if its "metro" or not, bottom line is, the old one "looks" better and more personal. With the banner, it looks more like the desktop version of fb.

Now, give me that look with more features and you have something unique and special.

I think they don't know their customer. Who did they design this FB app for?  By making it exactly the same you can only assume they wrote it for a person who uses three different phones, iOS,Android, and WP8 at once. So to make that one person happy the app will look exactly the same on all three versions. They didn't research the WP8 customer and what they are used to experiencing with other apps that properly use the OS. They said here is copy of the Android app deal with it. Each OS is a different experience when will people realize that? If your a business and you don't understand that then write a website, BAM same UI everywhere. Pretty easy really. If Microsoft or anyone else for that matter is ok with iOS or Android UI clone apps coming into the marketplace and using the excuse that hey we got more apps now so lets be lax on the design guidelines go buy a dang iPhone. Guess what?  Theres millions of iOS apps on the iPhone why settle for a clone go get the real thing and don't let the door hit you.

My problem with this Facebook app is why it's needed in the first place. If there isn't an official Facebook app and Microsoft has to create a 3rd party one like this app, why not just improve on the Hubs? Make it possible to like comments and see posts from groups you follow. In the Me Hub, allow to check in with individuals and upload photos when checking in. I'm not going to go through all the features missing in the native People and Me Hubs, but the point I'm making is just add all the features present in the seperate Facebook app into the native People and Me Hubs. Isn't one of the features that MS was showing off and promoting was WP's ability to have native  integration with social networks? Why create a seperate app (which is considered 3rd party anyway) when you can just integrate it with the OS? It's appears that there are 2 different teams working on Windows Phone: 1 working on the OS and 1 making software for the OS. Unfortunately these 2 teams don't seem to be on the same page or even in communication with each other. Of course, this is just my opinion but this is how I feel. I find it frustrating to have to use 2 different apps (People/Me Hubs and this Facebook app) to get the full Facebook experience.

I've always considered every Facebook app to be fugly. It's the drearly shade of blue, poorly designed icons, clunky disorganised interface.

Well I'm just glad the images don't spill over the edges of the card. That just looks gross and stresses me out.

When I first saw the new facebook app, I was so pleased. FINALLY a useable facebook app. No more bulky header. I can actually see more of the news feed (or at least it feels that way). I did at first notice the resemblance to the Android version, but I didn't think too much of it. And I also remember thinking, wow they made it look WP-ish. So I was quite shocked when people started bashing it because it didn't look metro enough. Seriously? They finally make a decent facebook app and people are still complaining?
For me, I would like a mix between the current facebook app and the beta, but I will be pleased if the beta interface stays as it is. Not all apps need to use the pivot/panorama control.