Chat Heads, the Facebook Home chat feature, will be coming to the iOS Facebook app this week, and is probably getting pushed to the store now, Facebook’s Home team said today on stage at the AllThingsD Dive Into Mobile Event. The Chat Heads implementation in the Facebook iOS app will have to live exclusively within the app itself, because of limitations placed on how developers can access iOS itself.
The Chat Head bubbles will appear through the Facebook app itself, though, instead of keeping messages relegated just to the messages tab. That means you’ll be able to jump in and out of conversations while browsing profiles, your news feed, pages and events. It’s both a good way to provide users with an improved messaging experience, and a good way to get more of the Facebook Home experience in front of iOS users.
Even if users can’t get the full Chat Heads experience, allowing them to try it out within the Facebook app sandbox is a good strategy for bringing more users over to Facebook Home. Those who like it might be encouraged to switch over to Android to get access to the rest of Facebook Home, something which would be preferable to Facebook than the more limited access to users it currently enjoys on Apple’s mobile OS.
Facebook is also bringing Stickers to the iPhone messaging experience, which is its own emoticon system that also has an in-app purchase component. Finally, the company is rolling out its News Feed improvements to the iPad, which means that you’ll see a much bigger focus on images. Facebook’s focus with its News Feed rollouts is in large part to make the experience much more visually rich, and the screenshots of the iPad update definitely accomplish that.