See update at the end of this post.
One of the core features of Facebook Home for Android, Chat Heads, is coming to iOS. Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said Tuesday that Facebook’s iOS app is being updated with the messaging feature and pushed to the iOS App Store “this week.”
Chat Heads is a feature that allows persistent pop-up messaging so users can chat with Facebook friends even when they’re not in the Messenger part of the app. Chat Heads is just one feature of Facebook Home, a launcher introduced on a few flagship Android phones earlier this month by Facebook as part of its larger mobile ambitions.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear at the introduction of the Android service that he wants to see Facebook Home on other platforms. However, the way the service takes over a smartphone’s home screen makes it almost 100 percent unlikely Apple would allow such an app to come to the iPhone, which it strictly controls the user experience on.
“The goal from the beginning was to get this experience in everyone’s hands no matter what device you choose to use,” said Schroepfer. Bringing just Chat Heads is just one piece of Facebook Home to those iOS users.
Update 9:35 a.m. PT: Facebook just sent a press release saying the iOS update is now available. In addition to adding Chat Heads, the update also includes Stickers for messaging, small News Feed adjustments and a slightly tweaked look for the iPad version of the app.