Facebook updates Paper with photo comments, birthdays, events, group updates and more

Facebook Paper 1.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)Facebook Paper 1.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

Following yesterday’s release of Facebook 9.0 for the iPhone and iPad with direct comment replies and other improvements, the social networking giant today issued the first major update to its Paper for iPhone application, which was released on February 3.

Paper version 1.1, now available free in the App Store, includes a bunch of useful features that were missing in the initial release.

You can now add photos to comments, get notified about upcoming birthdays and events, follow posts from your favorite groups, choose among the nine new article covers from outlets like Fox News, Bloomberg News, Mashable, FT, kottke, Popular Science, The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair and Hacker News and more…

Upcoming birthdays and events are now available under the notifications globe: just scroll down to catch up with important dates ahead.

In addition to photo comments and nine new article covers, you may notice the new story arrows in the fullscreen view that appear when new posts have been published.

To check out posts from groups, open the main menu by swiping down, tap the More Options icon to the right of the search box and check the new unread counts under the groups you follow.

Here’s what’s new in Paper 1.1:

Birthdays and events: Never miss a chance to celebrate! Just tap the notifications globe and scroll down to see important dates ahead.

Photo comments: When words aren’t enough, now you can add photos to comments to show how you feel.

Group updates: Don’t miss posts from your favorite groups. Swipe down to open the Main Menu. Tap the More Options icon to the right of the Search box. When you see your groups, check the new unread counts to catch up on the posts you’ve missed.

New story buttons: To keep up with the latest stories in a section in fullscreen view, or to catch the newest stories in the next section, tap the new story arrows when they appear.

More article covers: 9 new article covers join our collection, making easier to spot your favorite sources on Paper. Keep an eye out for Fox News, Bloomberg News, Mashable, FT, kottke, Popular Science, The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair and Hacker News.

Basic accessibility: All of your sections now support basic accessibility features, and we’re working to extend accessibility throughout the app.

A maintenance Paper update was issued last month, adding new sharing features, an option to disable sound effects, create stories in languages that use multi-stage input and more.

Download Paper free in the App Store.

It runs natively on the iPhone and iPod touch devices compatible with iOS 7.0 or later.

In other Facebook news, the company yesterday unveiled a new optional friend-tracking feature called Nearby Friends that reports your device’s location to detect friends in your vicinity so you can meet up and spend some quality time together in real life.