Remember the latest Facebook beta update v3.5? The one that brought photo saving and got rid of the legacy menu button, among other things. Looks like there's another change we didn't spot - one that's roughly 3 years overdue.

Starting with v3.5, the Facebook app finally registers itself as one of the apps capable of opening facebook.com links, so that when you click on, say, a new comment email notification, Facebook is right there instead of all your installed browsers. Hallelujah.

The support is very limited so far - in fact, only links that start with facebook.com/n (n stands for notifications, presumably) are being handled at the moment. This means that something like http://www.facebook.com/AndroidPolice or https://www.facebook.com/AndroidPolice/posts/563640527014898 won't work just yet, but something like this will.

I dug into the code and indeed - version 3.5 is only setting the Intent filter for facebook.com/n/. Version 3.4, in comparison, had no filters at all.

    <action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
    <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
    <category android:name="android.intent.category.BROWSABLE" />
    <data android:scheme="http" android:host="www.facebook.com" android:pathPrefix="/n/" />
    <data android:scheme="https" android:host="www.facebook.com" android:pathPrefix="/n/" />
    <data android:scheme="http" android:host="m.facebook.com" android:pathPrefix="/n/" />
    <data android:scheme="https" android:host="m.facebook.com" android:pathPrefix="/n/" />

It's a good start - I hope Facebook will expand support for regular links as well next.

Screenshot_2013-07-17-11-44-24 Screenshot_2013-07-17-11-44-33 Screenshot_2013-07-17-11-44-50

Thanks, James Brown!

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • HellG

    For the love of god, finally! it was a huge pain in the ass, as i only sign in my fb from the app,it made it impossible to view links
    thanks AP, you are always on the lead <3

  • Danny Holyoake

    It has taken them WAY too long, but I will admit that the recent beta update has made me install Facebook again after about six months of just using Tinfoil.

    • runderekrun

      Me too. Tinfoil is still way faster though.

  • Francois Schneider

    Next on the list, LinkedIn ?

  • bydavidrosen

    jesus lord finally. it must literally be rocket science to make that happen.

    • Matthew Fry

      or it's a fire.

  • Felipe Pimenta

    Next thing is that by the app, it shouldn't be redirected by their links. For example, if someone shares a video from YT, it will open the browser to only then redirects you to YT, to the site or the app (whatever is your option).

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Come on, now you're just talking crazy.

      • bydavidrosen

        the technology just isn't there yet.

      • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

        This Is madness

        • mesmorino

          Madness? THIS! IS! FACEBOOK!

          • Ray

            Hahaha!!! :D

          • Michael Ta

            no this is Patrick.

      • Felipe Pimenta

        True. I think I am dreaming too much... Maybe in the next 3 or 4 years they can develop that, as bydavidrosen said...

    • Nicholas “Lavacano” O’Connor

      That's probably so they can run the link through their crazy "link.php" file or whatever they're calling it.

  • mechapathy

    Holy shit! It's time to party like it's 2009!

  • Mike Harris

    I'm sure it was a fluke, but when I opened the app (the beta) this morning, my feed came up the way it's supposed to – with the most recent posts first. I'm so used to having to go into the settings and click on "Most Recent" (even though it's already set on that) for my feed to display properly, that if this has finally been fixed I don't know what I'm going to do with all that extra time.

    Like I said, I'm sure it was a fluke... or maybe I was still dreaming.

    • Régis Knechtel

      Same here

    • http://www.whatupgoingon.com Greg Macek

      I have never understood how difficult it to follow logic behind "most recent" and not "top stories" or whatever algorithms they have running the news feed. It's honestly one of my favorite things about Twitter. That and Lists on Twitter.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I think I saw someone mention they made the setting stick now.

  • Rudy Belova

    I still hate the fact that when i use facebook (on the app and the page) it only shows like 1/10 the actual posts. I open up friendcaster pro and EVERYTHING shows up. Nothing like trying to explain why you missed some important news because facebook decided not to show me. Ugh..

    • Ray

      Interesting. I find the exact opposite. I've always wanted to use Friendcaster but my biggest concern was that some posts weren't showing in the News Feed where as the official Facebook app had no problems at all showing them.

      At the time, the developer mentioned that it had something to do with Facebook API limitations.

      Might try Friendcaster again and see what results I get.

      • Rudy Belova

        When i tried to get help from facebook, i was told to ask people to pay to promote their posts. That way i would see it.

    • davidstallard

      This is because at the moment, Facebook filter the website and official app to show you posts they THINK you will want to see, whereas the API (which is used by third-party apps like Friendcaster) isn't currently filtering like that, so all posts are displayed.

      Having said that, @Ray is also correct, but for a different reason. There is an option in Settings that restricts posts from being visible to mobile apps, which means if your friend has that turned on, you won't see their posts in your news feed when using Friendcaster or any other third-party app, but it'll appear just fine in the official app. The Setting is so well hidden that I've gone in to have a look and they've moved it from where it was a few moths ago so who knows where it is now.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    About Frickin' Time! I had made my own app to do this a few months ago as a personal exercise. It took me a little while due to reverse engineering, but it should have taken one of their developers no more than half a day.

  • Matthew Fry

    How do I access the beta again?

  • http://twitter.com/Rodrigost23 Rodrigo Tavares

    I clicked the link in this phrase "...but something like this will.", and it logged me out of Facebook and showed me your gmail, lol

  • Carlos Ordoñez Espinosa

    This is very old Im in versión 6 And links are still opening con browsers :(

  • http://byazrov.ru/ Russian Photographer

    #facebook suck. such a simple task they cannot enable. annoying. i uninstalled facebook messenger because links are being open in browser instead of an app. retarded app.