Facebook working on a third-party camera app to increase user engagement

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The amount of sharing on Facebook’s social media network is down about 21% year-over-year, and that’s bad for the company. The solution? A standalone camera app!

Really, this is just Facebook’s next attempt to cash in by copying Snapchat.

The camera app is reportedly currently in development, and it’s Zuckerberg’s way to get users back into the habit of uploading original content to Facebook. Right now it’s down, and that’s partly because users tend to share less as their social networks get bigger. From a privacy point of view, it’s a move that makes total sense, but it’s still bad news for a company that needs user content to exist.

The app will supposedly function pretty similarly to Snapchat, where opening it jumps straight into a camera; take a picture, shoot a video, or start streaming video live. Facebook doesn’t care as long as you’re putting that content onto their site somehow.

It’s not exactly clear where that content is going, and whether it will be like Snapchat where it’s a controlled, expiring media or just a fast way to upload pictures to your Facebook profile. If it’s the former, it might help Facebook keep user engagement high (especially in younger demographics) but that won’t add to the amount of content that you’re putting out for everyone to see. If it’s the latter, well… what’s the point? The live streaming feature sounds nice, but I don’t think anyone would actually want to snap tons of photos and have them automatically uploaded to Facebook without any oversight or tweaking. And if it does allow you to review things before uploading, why would you use Facebook’s camera over whatever is built into your phone?

Facebook tests out a ton of different ideas, and there are many of them that never actually see the light of day. That might end up being the case for this camera app, but considering how badly Facebook seems to be chasing the market that Snapchat is stealing, I think we’ll see something come out of this particular project.

source: Wall Street Journal


About the Author: Jared Peters

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo's Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.