Facebook for iOS adds voice messaging and more in latest update

Coinciding nicely with the launch of iOS 6.1, Facebook has released an update to its official iPhone app, bringing in a new voice messaging feature and several improvements.
The update takes Facebook for iPhone to version 5.4 and brings in the very same voice messaging functionality that has been present on the Android app for a little while. When using the chat feature users can now opt to record themselves and send voice clips as well as regular text.
All you have to do to send a voice message is press the ‘+’ icon next to the text entry box and tap Record. You’ll see the usual red dot record button appear, which you touch and hold whilst you speak your message – release to stop recording and send the message.
Your message will appear the same size as a regular text-based message bubble in chat, with a play button and timer to show the length of the menu – it looks sort of like the track player on SoundCloud.
Another new feature is the ability to record video and upload it to your page directly within the Facebook app itself, which we think is a direct response to Twitter’s recently launched Vine app.
The Nearby feature has also been looked and improved, with a polished user interface and integration with Facebook’s new Graph Search feature. This is likely a move to help Facebook keep up with other popular location apps, like Foursquare.
You can download the latest version of Facebook to your iPhone or iPod Touch from the App Store now.

Twitter launching ‘Vine’ short video sharing app for iPhone soon

Watch out Instagram! Twitter is on the verge of launching its very own video sharing app for iPhones, called Vine.
The company acquired Vine last year; a start-up company that came up with the idea of an iPhone app that allows users to upload short video clips and share and interact with others. Twitter liked the idea, so it bought it. You can still download the Vine app from the App Store, so what is Twitter doing?
Well, a tweet from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo reveals that it could be very close to re-launching Vine itself. His tweet “Steak tartare in six seconds” contained a Vine link, which showed an embedded six second video shot using the iPhone app. According to All Things D’s sources, Twitter could be ready to launch the app within the next few days.
If you watch the short clip uploaded by Mr Costolo you’ll notice that it doesn’t flow in a natural timeframe, and that’s because Vine uses a unique method of capturing your video. The idea is that you can tap, hold and release your finger on the screen to start and stop recording as and when you wish. This means you can effectively stitch together several short clips into one 6 second video, which we think is neat.
Vine will be similar to Instagram in that users will be able to ‘follow’ each other, like posts and share content. It’s thought that although Vine is owned by Instagram it won’t be directly linked in right away, although Vine users will be able to easily share video clips and links through the micro-blogging site.
We think it sounds like a pretty cool idea, but we’ll reserve judgement for when it’s available to download. What do you think?