Facebook updates iOS app with Gifts, photo editing, faster access to messages, more

Facebook today released an update for iOS that introduces support for Facebook Gifts and brings key features of its standalone Camera and Messenger apps to the main app.

Users in the U.S. who already have access to Facebook Gifts will now be able to browse and send gifts to friends either by visiting a friend’s profile or the Events section of the app. However, there doesn’t appear to be a way to search or filter results, so users have to scroll through dozens or hundreds of gift ideas to find what they’re looking for.

More useful features include multi-photo upload and photo editing. Facebook for iOS previously had a way to create an album and upload more than one photo at a time, but few users knew about it and it was a slow process. Now, the main app includes the same quick upload flow as the standalone Camera app, including options for cropping and adding photo filters.

Similarly, Facebook has taken features from Messenger and brought them to the main app. Users can now swipe left to access a list of frequently contacted friends and others who are currently online. This change means the option to sort News Feed by “top stories” or “most recent” is no longer accessible from the top right corner. Instead, users can tap the gear icon next to the News Feed bookmark in the left-hand menu to do so.

Today’s update is the first iOS update since Facebook overhauled the app for speed in August.