For Facebook, the show must go on — and it’s one show after another, constantly. While the ink is still drying on its billion dollar acquisition of Instagram — which the FTC is looking into on suspicions that the deal is anti-competitive — Facebook has announced Facebook Camera for the iPhone and iPod touch.
The standalone photo app provides Facebook users with a centralized place to find and browse through Facebook friends’ photos. Like Instagram, Facebook Camera has a variety of filters to create cool (and warm) effects. With the app, users can tag Facebook friends and locations, add a description, and post the pictures on Facebook. And the best part is: it’s free.
There’s already a lot of talk about how the app is better and worse than Instagram. Its big selling point over Instagram is multi-photo uploads, which enables users to share photos from a day’s events in a single post. These multiphoto posts appear as one story in the feed, displaying the first photo in the set. From there, users can swipe side to side to view more. The filters in Facebook Camera have names that actually give an inkling as to what they do. “Copper” and “Emerald” tell a lot more than Instagram’s obscure “Sutro” and “Hudson”. Instagram, however, provides more filters and options including light adjustment and tilt-shift — features Facebook Camera currently lacks.
Enhancing its photo offering should sweeten Facebook in the eyes of prospective advertisers, giving marketers the tools to push — or “share” — more visually stimulating marketing materials on mobile devices. This last part is key. Facebook is all about sharing, but from a mobile standpoint, they’ve been late to the game.
Of course, we initially thought Instagram was supposed to solve that painpoint. No doubt Facebook Camera has been in development for quite some time, but now it seems the social network has two tools designed to push photo sharing across mobile devices. All Things D speculates that Facebook bought Instagram to eliminate Facebook Camera’s competition. I’d like to play Monopoly with Mark Zuckerberg just to see how quickly he’d buy me out. He’d probably get me to sell him my metal token Schnauzer, too.