Facebook might have acquired Instagram, but that’s not stopping the site from releasing a social photo-sharing app of its own.
Camera is Facebook’s newest mobile app for iOS, and it puts the many photos our friends post every day into one place. Like Instagram, photos are arranged in chronological order, and you can add your own photos directly from the app.
Facebook’s Camera is the third feature of the social networking site to be split from the main app itself. Messenger broke out the chat functions of Facebook last August, and Pages (released earlier this week) allows fan page owners to administer those pages from their mobile devices.
Given the complexity of the app, it appears Facebook has been hard at work for a while to create a photo-sharing app to compete with Instagram. In Camera lets photos fill the screen, allows commenting and sharing and, of course, there are some fun filters and editing tools to turn your photos into true works of art.
What separates Camera from the original Facebook mobile app for photos (and from Instagram, as well) is the capability to upload multiple photos versus the current one-at-a-time method.
Don’t expect Camera to feel like Instagram though: Since it pulls from photos posted from the main site, a majority of photos will come through unfiltered and not retouched. Facebook also has decided to place the like and comment buttons for photos on top of the images, which looks somewhat jarring and is something that Instagram would have never done.
The biggest questions are what this means for Instagram itself. Will people’s obsession with Facebook attract them to the social network’s own photo-sharing app, leaving Instagram out to dry? Or will this app be seen as a cheap rip-off by the Instagram faithful and become a giant flop?
Either way it’s a win-win situation for Facebook: The giant social network owns both apps.
Facebook Camera is in preview on Apple's App Store but you can request a download link from Facebook . Facebook says while it is considering versions for Android and other platforms, there are no concrete plans at this time.