Facebook for Windows Phone 7 update pictures and hands-on

Windows Phone 7 users who like Facebook got a treat this week with the launch of the new and improved official application for their devices.

There's a whole host of new features for the updated app, including improved panorama and profile designs, better news feed performance and navigation, new filters, and much, much more.

We thought it only fair, therefore, to download the update and give it a spin.

The biggest change to the app concerns the user interface. It now takes on a more Windows Phone 7 metro design and feel and means you can scroll from left to right to reveal other parts of the software.

Although Facebook Timelines aren't supported, the app does try to give you the same basic feeling, allowing you to add a banner image across the top that's automatically pulled from your Facebook photos. The image can be changed at random, but not specifically set, meaning that if you've got images you aren't so sure about you might have to click refresh a couple of times until you get the one you want.

The app now features four main panels - news feed, notifications, photos and access to your profile page. It essentially makes it a lot easier to access your information.  

But it isn't just a new look. Microsoft, which has developed the app, has worked hard to speed up the news feed performance and it seems a lot faster in our usage over the first 12 hours.

There are also groups and pages support now too, and a greater focus on filtering the news feed with different elements such as Video or Events, rather than a separate Events page as previously.

That said, it is worth pointing out that not all the features we would like are present. You still can't tag people in photos, for example, or "like" individual comments.

All in all, if you use the Facebook app on Windows Phone 7 you should be happy. The overhaul adds plenty to the mix and brings it in line with what you would expect an official Facebook for WP7 app to be.