It wasn’t but a few weeks ago when Facebook set the deal to purchase mobile photo app Instagram for close to a $1 billion. Today, the recently public company has released their own standalone photo app called Facebook Camera. The application was developed under the photos team led by Dirk Stoop. This fits in line with the Facebook Messenger app, another program that stands apart from the Facebook mobile app, is dedicated to one component of the Facebook experience, and performs much better than the collective mobile app.
The main goal of Facebook Camera is to essentially replace the Apple camera app on the phone. While the application allows users to add custom filters, Facebook Camera wants to create a direct line between users taking photos, and uploading photos to Facebook.
Upon opening the app, users are presented with a photo-only news feed displaying all recently uploaded images and albums from Facebook friends. People then have the option to upload their own photos in batches, or shoot directly from the application. In my test, the application is surprisingly agile and responsive—two areas the Facebook mobile app severely suffers in.
Above the photo feed is thumbnail selection of the most recent photos taken by the device and a camera button for shooting directly through the app. By dragging down on the thumbnail roll, all of the photos on the device appear and can easily be selected for easy multi-photo upload, a unique feature to this application. In addition to access to over 15 different filters, users can crop and make other small adjustments to photos.
Facebook Camera is now the easiest way to liberate your photos from your phone. Uploading competitor Batch has offered a similar upload service for a while now, but Facebook just beat them at their own game.
Many will stress concern about Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram. The Facebook Camera application has been in development for around a year. Facebook’s purchase of Instagram was a heavily guarded, almost impuse purchase spear-headed by Mark Zuckerburg. Had the deal not gone through, Facebook Camera would have launched. And just because the deal went through, Facebook’s photo team wasn’t going to throw out the progress they had made. In the coming months, capabilities of both Facebook Camera and Instagram might combine, but for now, it is best to treat them both as separate products. Facebook Camera is here to serve Facebook’s 900 million users while Instagram is stuck to its smaller, but more passionate user base.