Thoughts on Facebook Camera
In case you missed it, Facebook Camera launched last week. The app shows your friend’s Facebook photos in a single feed. This was an interesting move considering Facebook just purchased Instagram last month for $1 billion. However, Facebook said they aren’t trying to replace Instagram with their new app, they are just reaching out to a different demographic.
In the last year or so, I’ve found myself relying on Twitter and Instagram more and Facebook less. Particularly because the Facebook iPhone app is really slow and quite buggy. So, I was a little skeptical of this new Camera situation. After using it, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Here are my thoughts…
This came as a quite a shock to me considering that the actual Facebook App is horrendously slow. I uploaded maximum resolution photos from my iPhone 4 on both Wi-Fi and 3G and the app moved really quickly. The process was almost seamless on Wi-Fi and I liked the simple progress circle that showed up on 3G. It uploaded so fast, I could barely grab a screenshot!
The UI is really great. Instead of having to learn little tips and tricks for this specific app, it just simply behaves like I would expect it to. Nice features include: tapping multiple images to batch upload, hiding and showing your photo gallery by swiping up or down from the top, and easy switching between the “Friends” and “Me” feed.
I’ve gotta say that Facebook really stepped it up with this app. It’s clean and bold, yet understated (like a fine wine?). Check out how nice the pop up for comments and likes looks:
List integration. I pretty much only use lists on Facebook now. It allows me to see less of what Johnny from my Sophomore English class is up to and more of what my family and close friends are doing. Currently, Facebook Camera is showing me way too many pictures of wasted Johnny at the pool last weekend. I need list integration.
Simple auto-contrast or auto-color tools. I like spending some time picking a filter and using tilt shift on Instagram. But, when I’m sharing photos on Facebook, I just want it to be a quick and easy process. A simple auto filter, similar to the the one that Instagram added earlier this year, would be helpful.
I “Like” it.
Overall, I give it two Facebook thumbs up. However, I don’t think I’ll use it over Instagram. My primary use for it will most likely be viewing photos I’ve been tagged in because it performs much better than the Facebook app. I’m pleasantly surprised at the quality of this app and I hope Facebook continues to produce products of this caliber. They might want to start by doing something to improve their current iPhone app.