It’s been a rollercoaster of a week for Mr. Zuckerberg. The question is, is this most recent announcement an up or a down?
On Thursday afternoon the team announced the debut of the Facebook Camera app – a standalone app that, well, looks a heck of a lot like Instagram.
Some are wondering why the network would pump out a near carbon copy of the app they just shelled out $1 billion for. But then again, maybe it’s a step in the right direction; after all, visual and mobile elements are the future of social networking.
Facebook users spend a lot of time uploading and perusing pictures, so the Photo team focused on making that experience better. Thus, photos are the very center of the Facebook Camera experience. Browsing is a faster, smoother experience, or, according to one Facebook spokesman, “like butter.”
The photos are also higher quality (upload images up to 2,048 by 2,048 pixels), and the layout features larger, full-bleed photos much like the most recent standard Facebook app update.
And in true Instagram fashion, the Camera features 15 photo filters, as well as a few basic photo editing tools.
Facebook sources say that the app had been in development for months, and the Instagram team had nothing to do with the build. . . so why the buyout? Instagram quickly established itself as a cornerstone of the visual-mobile kingpin, and instead of patiently awaiting its own product release, Facebook went on the offense.
Think of it like this: while Instagram has 40 million users, Facebook has 900 million – and this app is for those people who love photos, but have yet to jump on the Instagram train.
My only remaining question is this: why the standalone app? Will Facebook continue to build a dynasty of separate mobile tools, or will these functionalities eventually be integrated into the standard application?