Less than two months after announcing its plans to acquire photo app company Instagram for $1 billion, Facebook has released an iOS app that looks and functions almost identically to Instagram’s.
Facebook Camera, which is now available in the App Store for free, sincerely improves upon the photo capabilities offered by Facebook’s primary app for iPhone and iPod touch devices.
Like Instagram, your friends’ latest photos are displayed in a single scrolling feed. You can also now simultaneously upload multiple photos to Facebook; Facebook’s main app only allows you to upload photos one at a time. And like Instagram, the app allows you to crop, rotate and apply filters to your photos.
Interestingly, none of the app’s 15 filters were developed by the Instagram team, Facebook product manager Dirk Stoop told The New York Times. The app, the Times suggests, has been in development for much longer.
The Camera App is the third mobile app dedicated to one of Facebook’s key features. The first, a dedicated messaging app, was released last April. Another, for brand pages, hit the App Storethis May. These apps, we feel, are smart ideas: Facebook simply has too many features and tools to bundle into a single mobile app.
It’s likely more such apps will be released this year. In an address to 200 investors leading up to Facebook’s IPO earlier this month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that mobile is Facebook’s number-one priority.