Facebook updates iOS app with voice messaging, video recording and easier way to mark News Feed items as spam

Facebook today released an update for its main iOS application, which includes voice messaging and video recording, as well as a more efficient way to hide ads and mark posts as spam directly from News Feed.

Voice messages are a new feature of Facebook’s standalone Messenger app that has been brought to the main app now, as it did on Android  little over a week ago. This allows users to send asynchronous voice messages up to 60-seconds long. The free voice calling feature, which is still limited to only certain regions, has not been added to the main app. It is only available via Messenger for iOS.

Users can now shoot video directly from their Facebook app by selecting “Photo” atop their News Feed or “Share Photo” from Timeline and then swiping from camera mode to video mode, as we’ve circled below. Though taking video from Facebook is now possible, it is fairly cumbersome to do. Video sharing is more fluid in Facebook’s Poke app and could provide some guidance for how the company might implement a better experience in the main app. Another limitation of the main app, as well as Messenger, is that users cannot shoot video or share videos they’ve already recorded through Facebook messages.

A key improvement of the latest iOS app is the option to hide or mark a News Feed story as spam with only two taps. Previously, users had to know to first tap the post, wait to be taken to a new screen, then tap an icon in the corner, followed by the action they wished to take. Now they can simply tap the icon with three dots in the top right corner of a post, and then tap the appropriate action. We recently called for Facebook to give users more options to provide negative feedback on the ads and stories they see on their mobile devices, and today’s update is a start. However Facebook still doesn’t offer a way to hide mobile app install ads or ads within its “Pages You Might Like” module.

The company also says it has made improvements to the Nearby tab, which allows users to conduct local searches and rate places they’ve been to.