May 25, 2012
Facebook Launches Facebook Camera App
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
Facebook is reminding us yet again that they´re serious about their mobile strategy.
Facebook´s product manager for photos, Dirk Stoop, told the New York Times that the application is much faster than the basic Facebook app for iOS, placing photos dead center of the experience.
“We spent a lot of time making the app very fast. The whole viewing experience is faster. The app launches really fast and it scrolls like butter, “ said Stoop.
“We can basically show you more photos on the app, so we can make a more immersive experience around your photos,” according to Stoop. “On the side of publishing these photos, Facebook Camera lets you upload much higher resolution photos at up to 2,048 by 2,048 pixels wide.”
The new Facebook Camera app doesn´t just highlight your friends´ photos and give you a fast way to share your pictures, it also includes filters, much like another popular photo-sharing app which was just purchased for $1 billion.
There are plenty of these filters to choose from, too. All told, the new app boasts 15 different filters ranging from Contrast to Rouge to Boost and Neon.
“They are stylistic in nature, they are not just enhancements,” said Stoop of the filters.
Facebook Camera also offers similar functionality and features as the iPhone´s native camera app, including tools for cropping and straightening. If you´re at all familiar with your iPhone´s camera app, you´ll know how to post a picture with Facebook Camera.
Taking a picture of your friends at the bar? To tag them, simply tap their faces in the picture, and the app instantly asks “Who is this?” Simply type their name to tag them.
Once you take a picture and have it sufficiently tagged, uploading it to Facebook is as easy as tapping the little blue icon that´s become synonymous with “compose” or “write” on the bottom right corner. From there, you can tag your location, add additional photos and even select who will be able to see your photos in your friends´ lists.
As you may expect, you can give a thumbs up or thumbs down to your friend´s photos, as well as leave a comment.
Interestingly, as I was trying out the app (sample below), the basic Facebook app delivered any comment notifications to me, even though I was actively using Facebook Camera. While I´m sure Facebook chose to do this so as not to bombard users with notifications from both apps, I would like to see a toggle to set which app delivers notifications. Another interesting note, Facebook Camera will not have access to your photo roll if you have location turned off. According to their FAQ, Facebook says they require location to be turned on so as to have access to the location meta-data captured by the iPhone´s native camera app.
Rather than copying Instagram – even though they´ll own it soon – a Facebook spokesman has said they chose to release a photos application when they saw many users with large photo libraries who spent a large amount of time interacting with them.
Facebook Camera is a free app for iOS and is currently available in the App Store.