Earlier this month, Facebook updated their Messenger app for iOS and Android to make it that much more competitive with SMS and other instant messaging services on mobile devices. Clearly, Facebook is on a roll as they’ve just released yet another iOS app simply called Camera.
Camera acts as a conduit to Facebook’s photo hosting service; rather than display your friends’ walls or profiles, it simply allows you to access a stream of your friends’ photos. To be clear, it only supports the photo aspect of your news feed, so if you want to check out somebody’s profile it’ll kick you over to the primary app. It also allows you to take photos that can be shared exclusively on Facebook, along with familiar features like filters and cropping and Facebook-specific features like tagging and uploading multiple photos to your timeline in a single post.
One might ask why Facebook would release Camera so soon after their purchase of Instagram when the latter could be considered superior in functionality, but many are quick to point out that Instagram is its own social network that focuses entirely on photos while Facebook has a photo element that’s served directly by this app. The only concern brought up by pundits is an ever increasing stable of Facebook-owned apps with specific functionality, a trend that might lead to people jamming them all into a folder and forgetting about them. That hasn’t happened quite yet, but with the social network’s newfound willingness to enter the software space we might see it happen in the new future.