After Facebook’s stellar quarter, which sees users spending massive amounts of time on its mobile apps, including Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, the company announced this morning it’s bringing this popular trio of apps to Windows 10. Facebook and Messenger are now rolling out to Windows 10 on the desktop and Instagram is arriving on Windows 10 mobile.
As you may expect, the Windows 10 Facebook app has been designed to take advantage of the operating system’s features, like its “Live Tiles” which allow you to see status updates from family, friends and Pages right on your homescreen. The new app is also integrated with File Explorer so you can share photos to Facebook from your favorite apps. Desktop notifications for updates are supported, as well.
While in the past, Windows apps have seemed to have been something of an afterthought, the new Facebook application for Windows 10 is not at all lagging behind. It includes Facebook’s latest features, like the new “Reactions” which let you respond to posts with a variety of emotions beyond the “Like,” as well as stickers in comments, and desktop notifications. There’s also right-hand column for seeing friends’ birthdays, event reminders, and trending topics, and an in-app browser for reading articles from the News Feed.
This new application will replace the older Facebook Windows 8 app when it launches later today, though you’ll still be able to use the prior version if you have it installed, says Facebook.
Accompanying this release is a Messenger app for Windows 10. Again, it supports the newest features like stickers, group conversations, and GIFs. Plus, when you receive incoming chats, you’ll be alerted via native desktop notifications. The Messenger Live Tile, which you can pin to the Start Menu, will also display which messages you have waiting.
Both Facebook and Messenger will arrive on Windows 10 mobile later this year, Facebook notes.
In the meantime, Facebook has brought Instagram to Windows 10 mobile. This app supports Direct Messaging, video, the updated Search and Explore feature, the recently added Account Switching feature for moving in between multiple Instagram accounts, and Live Tile integration. In this case, if you pin the Instagram app to your home screen, you’ll see your notifications and updates. And the Tile itself displays photos.
These app releases are more critical than ever thanks to Windows 10’s traction. Microsoft announced in March that Windows 10 now runs on 270 million monthly active devices, up from 200 million in January. That’s a sizable footprint that can’t be ignored. And it’s outpacing the growth of all other Microsoft Windows launches, the company noted at the time.
These apps are important to Facebook, too, as they account for large chunks of its usage across other platforms. As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said yesterday, people spend on average more than 50 minutes a day using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger combined.