Facebook Reportedly Developing a New Camera App

Posted on April 26, 2016

Facebook is reportedly developing a new camera app. This new app will open users directly into a camera. The goal of the app is to get Facebook users to share more photographs.

Recent reports have indicated that Facebook users are not sharing as much personal content as they used to. Facebook is hoping the new app could change that and help increase the number of daily photos and videos shared by users. A Wall Street Journal story calls the app a "camera-first format."

Tech bloggers are comparing the camera app to Snapchat. Ars Technica notes that Facebook tried a Snapchat-like competitor called Slingshot in the past but it did not catch on. Facebook also shuttered a camera app, called Facebook Camera, that did not succeed in May 2014.

Facebook already has a very popular app for sharing photographs in Instagram but appears reluctant to have it work too closely with Facebook likely due to fears it could turn away Instagram users. Users of social media apps and sites can move away from services they are using very quickly if they decide they no longer like the way the social network operates. This is especially true of younger Internet users.

Facebook does not want to see a mass exodus from Instagram and they want to get Facebook users sharing again so a new camera app for Facebook users should help with that. The app would work with Facebook Live which allows Facebook users to broadcast live video using a camera phone.

Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead told Computerworld he does not think the new app will help Facebook attract new younger users by he says it could help the social network retain users. Moorhead says, "I don't think a camera app would bring those elusive younger users in, but maybe it could keep the ones it has from leaving."

A problem for Facebook is that what many young users want from social apps are texts, messages and photos that disappear not long after being shared. This directly contrasts Facebook's goal of getting users to share more personal content that is of a much more permanent nature. The new Facebook camera app is not a sure thing. The Wall Street Journal story says it is in development at Facebook but still may never actually launch.

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