Facebook has recently launched a new camera app that looks and acts a lot like Instagram, which, incidentally (or not), is owned by the social network. The new app titled “Facebook Camera” is currently available for free from the Apple App Store and is being toted as one of the best camera apps available (next to Instagram, of course). But, is Facebook’s new camera app worth a download or your time? I’ve taken the liberty of downloading and testing the new Facebook app so that you know what you’re getting into before you hit that “install” button.
First: The Interface
After downloading Facebook Camera, the app asks you to sign in with your Facebook account, which is automatically detected in most cases. If you don’t have a Facebook account this app will be rather useless. Once signed up, Facebook Camera will detect all of the photos that exist on your camera, you can see these photos right away in thumbnail version at the top of the app screen. From there, things get a bit confusing.
Facebook hasn’t added much user direction or help, so navigating the Camera app means a bit of trial and error. After much playing around with the app, it has become apparent that users can send more than one photo to Facebook, change filters, and select photos using the app. However, Facebook should really add some quick notes and directions about how to use the app, in this reviewer’s opinion. Lack of direction aside, the filters that Facebook has chosen are fun to use.
Next: Filter Options
Facebook has chosen filter options that aren’t like the ones Instagram offers, thankfully. Instead of various colored hues, Facebook has gone with all sepia and black and white inspired tones. Users will find filters like “B&W,” “Coffee,” “Contrast,” “Cool,” and “Light” as opposed to Instagram’s “X-Pro,” “Hudson,” “Toaster,” and various other filter options.
Changing a photo’s appearance using any of Facebook Camera’s filters is easy enough and the impact is desirable in most instances. It is also possible to crop photos using Facebook Camera, though no tilt and shift feature is available (as is the case with Instagram). In addition to various filters, Facebook has added another feature that may (or may not) entice many Facebook users to select the new photo app over Instagram.
Finally: Facebook Integration
A Facebook camera app wouldn’t make any sense unless the app were highly integrated with the social network, and the app doesn’t disappoint in this sense. Not only is it possible to upload numerous (or “batch”) photos at once to your Facebook page (much easier than uploading one at a time), it’s also possible to view a photo-specific newsfeed of your friend’s photos. Want to see what pictures your friends are snapping? You can do this simply by opening up the new Facebook app. So, in the end, Facebook Camera is a fun new app that many will find appealing, though the app does need some fine-tuning in order to bring it to Instagram’s level.