The new Facebook Camera app is no replacement for Instagram

May 24, 2012
Tech

Facebook recently paid $1 billion for social photography app Instagram. To follow up that move, the social networking company just launched a mobile photography app of its own: Facebook Camera. At its most basic, the app is Facebook-agram. Users can snap shots with the app or use photos in their Camera Roll and adjust them […]

Facebook recently paid $1 billion for social photography app Instagram. To follow up that move, the social networking company just launched a mobile photography app of its own: Facebook Camera.

At its most basic, the app is Facebook-agram. Users can snap shots with the app or use photos in their Camera Roll and adjust them with filters that are a little like those seen in Instagram. The app also supports cropping and rotating, and photos can be uploaded directly to your Facebook feed or into albums.

One of the best features in the app isn’t its filters or editing capabilities (there aren’t many of the latter), but its ability to handle multiple photo uploads at once. You can crop, adjust and filter lots of shots and send them through in one big shot with Facebook Camera, which is a little easier than the uploads even on Facebook’s web interface.

The app also includes a snazzy version of your Facebook feed that streamlines posts so that all you see are photos and their related comments, captions and other information. You can scan through photos you  post yourself, or see everything posted by your friends. The app is highly streamlined and makes it easy to swipe through multiple photos, blow them up, see who’s tagged in them and so on. It’s a great way to look through photos on Facebook.

Not entirely in focus

But is Facebook Camera a replacement for Instagram? Well…no, not really.

Facebook Camera does do a lot of the same things Instagram does, but the primary reason for using either app – the photo filters – aren’t as impressive on Facebook Camera as they are on Instagram. Facebook’s adjustments tend to be about color temperature or contrast, whereas Instagram’s are less simple, combining several different elements to create a specific retro feel.

The benefits of Facebook Camera are in its uploading interface and its photo feed capabilities, both of which are very cool and extremely useful. Unfortunately, the filters just don’t stack up as well. If you’re like me, you’ll probably be running photos through Instagram to trick them out with filters, then using Facebook Camera to upload them. The app is free in the iTunes App Store and definitely worth a look, but it won’t be replacing your go-to photo filtering apps just yet.

Worth mentioning: I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the first step toward Facebook phasing out or absorbing Instagram completely, now that the social network owns it outright. You might want to start saying your goodbyes

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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