Facebook used to have a dedicated camera app on the App Store that didn’t get much love from users so it was eventually pulled.
But now, the company is said to be working on a brand new, standalone mobile application designed to encourage its 1.6 billion users to create and share more photos and videos, including live video broadcasts, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.
“The project is in its early stages and may never come to fruition,” reads the report.
Facebook developing camera-first format
A prototype of the forthcoming app, which may or may not be released for public consumption, is being developed by Facebook’s “friend-sharing” team.
The app instantly opens to a camera, just like Snapchat and other disappearing photo apps. In addition to taking photos and sharing them, users can also record video through the app to begin live streaming.
“People familiar with the matter said the camera app under consideration is also intended to spur creation,” said WSJ. “The content could then be shared to Facebook or its other properties, including Instagram.”
Sharing on Facebook is in decline
Even though Facebook shuttered its standalone Camera app and pulled Snapchat-like Slingshot for iPhone from the App Store nearly two years ago (along with a bunch of other apps), the decline in sharing on Facebook has emerged as a problem in the past year, hence the new app.
According to GlobalWebIndex stats, sharing on Facebook is declining despite its user base growing at a healthy pace: in the first quarter of 2016, 37 percent of Facebook users have uploaded or shared their own photos in the same period versus 46 percent in the first quarter of 2015.
Swapping faces à la Snapchat
The social networking behemoth last month purchased the video-sharing app MSQRD, which provides filters for videos and offers the ability to swap faces with others in the picture, but these features are yet to be incorporated in Facebook’s offerings.
Image: Facebook’s Live Video features in its iPhone app.
Source: The Wall Street Journal