New Facebook for BlackBerry takes on Places

Facebook Places comes to BlackBerry's updated Facebook app, in addition to other enhancements.

Just last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stood before a crowd of journalists (including us) and announced an update of Facebook Places for the iPhone, and the arrival of Facebook Places for Android. Facebook Places, the social network's business listing service, has also just come to BlackBerry.

Facebook 1.9 for BlackBerry has placed Facebook Places as a selection in its navigation strip. Select it, and you're able to check in to a location--like a coffee shop or a concert hall--tag friends, and add an uncharted Place to the listings. There's the full range of management options as well, so you're able to view Places, comment, and view a listing's location on BlackBerry Maps. BlackBerry's internal GPS receiver powers the app's location element.

In addition to Places, Facebook and BlackBerry-maker RIM have also enhanced search, letting you now search for contacts and pages within the app. Software tweaks also plump up the number of items you can view in the news feed and friend list, and the app makes it easier to access your profile, Search, and Messaging from the navigation toolbar.

The new Facebook app also plays well with the Universal Search functionality baked into BlackBerry OS 6.

BlackBerry's version of Facebook has arguably been the weakest Facebook implementation for a mobile platform. The addition of Places certainly helps, as do the navigation tweaks. However, the app still trails Android and especially iPhone in features and functionality.

RIM will roll out updates over the next day, but you can also manually download Facebook for BlackBerry 1.9 free from the App World app on your BlackBerry.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.