The Facebook App has quietly made its way back onto the Microsoft Store. This time, the app is in the form of a Progressive Web App (PWA)
After taking down its own app from the Microsoft Store more than a year ago, Facebook has reintroduced its app on the official Windows 10 app repository. Although the app is back on the store, it is way different than its older and now obsolete iteration.
Facebook App for Windows 10 on the Microsoft Store was a full-blown application consuming resources:
Back in early 2020, Facebook had abruptly taken down its own app for Windows 10. The social media giant urged users on Windows 10 PCs to use the web version.
Facebook had said: “Since you use Facebook for Windows desktop app, we wanted to make sure you’re aware this app will stop working on Friday, February 28, 2020. You can still access all of your friends and favorite Facebook features by logging in through your browser at www.facebook.com.”
While there was a notice, it is not clear why the company chose to shutter its own app. The Facebook app for Windows 10 was pretty standard and resembled the web version. It had the provision for searching and adding friends, chatting, messaging, reminders, feed, etc.
— MSPoweruser (@mspoweruser) March 10, 2021
Needless to mention, the app was free to download on the Microsoft Store. According to reports in 2020, the Facebook App for Windows 10 was quite hefty to download and install.
Some publications claimed the app occupied nearly 500 MB of storage space. Moreover, the app would regularly cache information, which took up even more space.
The Facebook app was clearly a proper application. Additionally, this app also required a comprehensive set of permissions to access local hardware services, including location detection, webcam, microphone, Windows contacts, access to the internet, calendar data, appointments, picture library, and video library.
Facebook is offering a PWA for Windows 10 on the Microsoft Store:
The Facebook app has returned to the Microsoft Store. However, it does not resemble its now-retired iteration. Moreover, the app’s backend is heavily reworked and optimized.
The new version of the app is a PWA (Progressive Web App). This means the app has a Chromium-powered Edge engine. Simply put, it works like an app but is essentially a web platform that runs by piggybacking on Microsoft Edge web browser.
— Aggiornamenti Lumia (@ALumia_Italia) March 10, 2021
Facebook has offered some information about the new PWA:
What’s new in this version
This is a beta version of the Facebook experience for Windows 10. Give it a try to be among the first to test our latest features. We’re always improving the beta, so let us know if you see something that isn’t working by selecting ‘Report a Problem’ from the dropdown menu in the top right corner.
- See what friends are up to
- Share updates, photos, and videos
- Get notified when friends like and comment on your posts
As mentioned above, the Facebook PWA for Windows 10 is still in Beta. Hence, users should expect significant changes and improvements as the social media giant finetune the same.
Incidentally, the Facebook PWA requires Windows 10 Build 19003 or later to work correctly. The app is a PWA that supports the native light and dark mode of the Windows 10 PC, and can even offer the same functionality independently.