Peter Kafka

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Facebook’s Chat Heads Come to iPhones, iPad With App Update

Facebook Dive Media Mike Schroepfer Cory OndrejkaYou can’t get Facebook Home on your iPhone. But very soon you’ll be able to get one of the most buzzed-about features from Facebook’s new mobile software: “Chat Heads” are coming to iOS devices, via a Facebook app update.

Chat Heads are a clever update on the notification system most smartphone users are already familiar with — instead of getting a text update when a pal wants to talk to you, you’ll see a circular picture of your pal’s … head.

You should be able to download the new version of the app later today, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer and mobile head Cory Ondrejka announced at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference.

Other new features include “stickers” (everyone has to have stickers in their messaging app),¬†as well as a new version of the iPad layout, which mirrors the version Facebook recently brought to the desktop News Feed.

This might have been what a Facebook executive was talking about yesterday, when Bloomberg reported that the company was talking about making a “version of its new mobile software for the iPhone.” That certainly makes a lot more sense than the notion of Apple giving a third party control of its mobile OS, in the way that Facebook (and Amazon, and others) have been able to do with Google’s Android.

Meanwhile, if you really, really love Chat Heads on Facebook Home phones, you may not be satisfied with the Apple version. Unlike “real” Chat Heads, which show up no matter what app you’re using on a Home phone, the iOS Chat Heads will only work when you’re using the Facebook App.