Today, Instagram is all the rage and Facebook knows it. Instagram has grown incredibly fast to become one of the hottest social media apps. After all, we love to take pictures and play with them.
Partly because of Instagram’s success, Facebook has created its own mobile photo app, called simply ‘Camera.’ Simple is best. Camera will be available first for Apple devices and iPhones. Its Facebook’s bid to get into the mobile photo app game, an area where they haven’t yet taken the universe by storm.
What You Can do with Camera
Camera works in much the same way as Instagram does. It uses 15 filters that are similar to Instagram’s but not completely the same. You can take pictures and edit them on your phone, cropping, resizing, adding effects, and so on. The whole point is to make your pictures look great no matter how much your photography skills may be lacking.
It’s going to be integrated with Facebook to make sharing easier. For example, you can upload a set of photos, something the regular mobile app can’t do. You can review the pictures and add comments before you publish to your profile.
Why the New App?
There’s a good reason why Facebook is beefing up its mobile apps. Facebook’s revenue is falling because of the shift from desktop computers to mobile phones. Everybody’s going mobile and Facebook needs to offer something for them to use. This was stated in its amended S-1 filing for the Securities and Exchange Commission. The statement said that it needs to create a viable mobile strategy and identified its lack of a mobile strategy as a risk to its shareholders. Further more, online photo ablums and photo sharing sites, like SlickPic and Mixbook are gaining more and more fans who mainly use their smartphones to upload their images.
As another part of this strategy, Facebook is creating its own App Center to target mobile users. You can go there to check out various apps including Camera. The apps at the store are all high quality ones that are integrated with social media. These apps are all approved beforehand by Facebook as meeting its high quality standards. On the social media giant’s blog it mentioned Pinterest, Zynga’s Draw Something, Viddy and Spotify as examples of apps it would carry. Although you can shop and test-drive apps here, you still have to use an app store to buy.
What’s up with Instagram?
This is odd news when you consider that Facebook is buying Instagram. The deal is in the closing stages, so why would Facebook be rushing to put out its own similar app?
The reason is that the Instagram buyout isn’t a done deal yet. The Federal Trade Commission is taking its sweet time investigating Facebook for competition issues before it approves the deal. Facebook was planning for the sale to be finished at the end of the second quarter, but the FTC investigation appears to be slowing it down.
The FTC inspects every purchase of over $66 million and the Facebook-Instagram deal is for a cool $1 billion. It’s completely routine for the FTC to carry out investigations like this, but if it gets deeply into the investigation, it could easily take up to six months. This is exactly what Facebook is afraid of. Facebook can’t integrate with Instagram until the deal is concluded and the social media giant is under pressure to get something on the market.
According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook Timeline profile, Instagram, which is a social media site in its own right, will be left largely the way it is. Facebook users can use Camera for their sharing needs.
Camera is Facebook’s second supplementary mobile app. The first was Messenger, which was launched in mid-2011.