27 May 2012

Facebook’s New iOS Camera App: A New Competitor For Instagram?

Facebook has released its own standalone photo-sharing app for the iPhone, a surprising move that comes less than a month after it acquired Instagram. The social networking giant’s new iOS app – dubbed Facebook Camera – is designed to capture photos, apply filters and batch upload pics to a user’s Timeline. In a move clearly inspired by Instagram, the new app also features its own array of filters.

On first startup, Facebook Camera automatically detects and links any Facebook account associated with the user’s iPhone. However, there is nothing Facebook-like with the new app’s user interface. There is a New Feed of photos uploaded by you or your friends, and the app can support batch uploads of up to 30 files. Tapping on the photo will allow you to rotate, crop and apply filters to the image.

As initially released, Facebook Camera only has 14 filters, but Facebook is certain to add more options in future updates. It is now available as a free download on the iTunes Store, and an Android port could be expected in the near future.

Interestingly, Facebook’s new app was released a scant few weeks after the social networking giant snapped up Instagram for a hefty $1B. The timing suggests that Facebook Camera has been under development long before the deal with Instagram was sealed.

 Facebook could now be planning to port Instagram’s features into its own app, and move the developers of the photo-sharing app to the Facebook Camera team. As such, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Instagram entirely disappear from the App Store in the long run.

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