The return. Just over a year after removing its previous application, Facebook has brought an official app back to the Microsoft Store. Only, this one is as different as it can be from the one it replaces.
It was back in March 2020 that the social network removed its app from the Windows Store, instead recommending users to use the web browser. A year later, the company has had a change of heart, and has quietly put up a new Facebook application that is still in beta.
The new Facebook Beta app is a progress web app (PWA).
That is to say, this new app is no different than the Facebook website when opened on any browser. As a matter of fact, the application uses your Microsoft Edge Chromium installation to serve up the Facebook website.
If you go to Facebook in the new Edge, and then go to install the website as an app, you will find the option to open the Facebook app instead.
In other words, the Facebook Beta app is essentially just an installed website that offers the same experience you would expect within a web browser.
What it does do is provide another way for people to install a Facebook experience on the OS, both Windows 10 and Windows 10X. Handy for folks who do not know that you can install websites as an app and are used to the application store model.
Some unique features would have been very welcome, though. Like support for native Windows Share so users can share their photos directly without having to open the Facebook app. That, and support for Live Tiles wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Perhaps that’s for another day.
Download: Facebook (Beta)