A Facebook camera app is reportedly being built by a team of Facebook engineers in London. This is one of the few times a Facebook product would be developed outside of its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The standalone camera app is another way Facebook is trying to erode Snapchat’s influence.
According to the exclusive report by the World Street Journal, the app when launched, opens directly into a user’s smartphone’s camera. Apparently, the images or photos from the app can be shared directly on Facebook and Instagram. There is also the option of using the camera to share live video on Facebook Live. Though, it is not certain that photos from the Facebook camera app would actually end up being shared in Facebook or Instagram. Everything is just speculation for now. And truth be told, the app might not even see the light of day.
The idea of the Facebook camera app dovetails perfectly into how Facebook intends to move forward in the future. Live videos, instant sharing of images, and online streaming are where the actions are right now. But for Facebook, their is another concern though. Facebook is worried that people are sharing less about themselves on the social network. So they are doing all they can to make people share more. One way is through the ‘On This Day’ feature which was revamped recently to remind us of past events that made us happy.
Though Facebook would not come out and say it, they are worried that the less people share personal stuffs on the social network, the more likely Facebook becomes just another social network. To be more precise, it is the personal content posted by people on Facebook that makes it unique. So, the development of Facebook camera app integrated into Facebook makes sense. With a standalone camera app, one can just take a picture and in a few steps share it on Facebook or Instagram. The same thing applies to live video: record a scene or event with Facebook camera app and in a few short steps, share it on your favorite social network. And more exciting too, the app can be used to stream live videos easily.
However, this not the first Facebook camera app to be launched. Four years ago in 2012, Facebook did launch a standalone camera app. Then seeing that the app was not getting the traction Facebook had hoped for, they tried to acquire Snapchat just a year after launching the first camera app. That attempt failed spectacularly. A year later in 2014, the camera app was shut down. Apps not making the grade at Facebook is not a new thing. Slingshot, Rooms, and Riff are some apps that were abandoned by Facebook after Facebook shut down Creative Labs, the division in charge of developing and upgrading the apps. So who is to say that the new Facebook camera app won’t be killed also.
I think Facebook are optimistic this time around. The success and growing popularity of Facebook Live gives them a lot of hope. At least, the Facebook camera app can take a piggy-back ride to success on the back of the popular Facebook Live.
photo credit: logiclounge.com