Getting support from Facebook is kind of a big deal for Microsoft and presumably there are enough Windows 10 PCs and devices (mostly PCs), for it to be worth spending the time and effort in creating the apps.
So what does this mean for Facebook fans?
A tile can be added to the Start menu that, like many others, can display live information. It shows the latest notification or two. There isn’t much space on a tile, so the information on it is minimal, but it is still useful.
Open the app and it is a slightly cleaner and simpler version of what you get in a web browser. With a narrow window the left menu and right friends list shrink to icons, but expand the window and you get a full text menu and list of friends.
The left menu in a browser does not collapse, but in the app it does. Instead of a list of groups in the left menu, there is just a Groups link. Your favourites are there, just not the GROUPS section that is in a browser. There are no apps either.
The right panel is slightly simpler, and other features are more compact. It is as if Facebook has taken the opportunity to redesign the page and it looks great. Maybe even better than the website.
There are limitations that are apparent if you dig around. For example, if you click the Apps link in the Facebook app and then click Games, it opens a browser to go to the games section of the Facebook website.
Click a link to a web page and it opens in the app. Multiple tabs are supported and when you click back to Facebook, they shrink to the bottom of the screen.
Messenger is almost identical to Messenger on a phone or tablet. It shows your friends, you can select one to see the conversation, enter text, add images and emoji, and so on.
Click a friend in the Facebook app and Messenger automatically opens to chat to them. With a wide screen you can run both side by side.
Facebook has a new Instagram app too, but it is only for Windows phones and it is not available for the PC. This is typical of Instagram and you can’t even get an iPad app. It is only for phones.
1 Go to the Windows Store
Open the Windows Store app and enter Facebook into the search box. Facebook and Messenger appear in the drop-down list of suggestions. Click Facebook.
2 Install Facebook
Click the Install button to download and install the app. Repeat this with Messenger.
3 Pin to Start
Click the Start button and there is a Recently added section on the left. Right click Facebook and Messenger, and then select Pin to Start to add tiles for them.
4 Open the app
Click the Facebook tile on the Start menu to open it. It is very similar to a browser, but it is simpler, cleaner and doesn’t have an address box or toolbar.
Is it better than the browser? For most things, yes it is. It is less cluttered and this makes it easier to see the content and access the various sections.