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Facebook Unveils Faster Application for Android Smartphones

Facebook Inc. (FB), owner of the world’s largest social network, said it unveiled an upgraded mobile application for phones and tablets running on Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android operating system that will make the program run faster.

Facebook, using a new approach with code to create the software, aims to make it quicker and easier for users to open the app, view photos or post comments, said Frank Qixing Du, an engineer on the Facebook for Android team, in a note on the site. The company also added a story banner to show the latest posts, no matter where users are in their news feeds.

“This new release creates a solid foundation for the Facebook for Android app moving forward,” Qixing Du said. “The infrastructure in place will let us continue to make the app even faster, smoother, and feature-rich.”

The company is focusing on mobile services as more users access the social network from wireless devices instead of through the traditional desktop-computer version. Facebook’s number of mobile users jumped to 604 million in the third quarter, up 61 percent from a year earlier. The company had more than 1 billion total active members.

The new Android application follows an upgrade to its counterpart for Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and iPad tablet, which was announced in August. Speed was a focus for that update as well.

Shares of the Menlo Park, California-based company rose 2.4 percent to $28.24 at the close in New York. Facebook stock has fallen 26 percent since its initial public offering in May, when it sold shares for $38 apiece.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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