Thursday, April 28, 2016

Should Facebook Give Up on Camera Apps?

For the past four years, Facebook has desperately tried to stay ahead of the game with new camera apps for its users. Time and time again, they’ve proven to be not so successful.

In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is reportedly rolling out a new camera app specific to its almost 2 billion users. The camera app will run similarly to Snapchat’s format. When users open the app, it will automatically load to a camera setting. One suggested feature is to allow users to live stream through their cameras.

But why?

Should Facebook Give Up on Camera Apps?

Well, one reason may be that Facebook users are becoming increasingly passive on Facebook. According to the report, users may check in to the app multiple times a day, but are posting less and less about their personal lives through status updates, photos or videos.

This isn’t the first time that Facebook has attempted to create a camera-like app for its users. In 2012, Facebook released ‘Facebook Camera‘, an app similar to Instagram that allowed users to share photos.

Later that year, it introduced Poke, an app that “poked” users by sending them photos, videos or messages. Extremely similar to Snapchat, “pokes” lasted for 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds. Needless to say, the app didn’t last long.

In 2014, Facebook accidentally pre-launched Slingshot, yet another attempt to oust Snapchat. Slingshot was meant to promote interaction among its users. Users could send messages to each other of up to 15 seconds.  The catch? Well, in order for the recipient to open another user’s message, he or she would be required to respond with an image or video of their own to unlock the message. Users didn’t need a Facebook account to actually use the app. Facebook got rid of the app sometime in 2015.

Facebook’s last video attempt came in 2015 with Riff, an app that let users add their own video on top of friends’ original videos. There was no limit to the amount of videos that could be tacked onto an existing video, making the video entries almost endless.

You’d think that after four attempts, Facebook would call it quits. But who knows? Maybe fifth time’s a charm.

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