Facebook is developing a standalone camera app to encourage users to take and share more photos and videos, sources tell The Wall Street Journal’s Deepa Seetharaman.
The app is still in early prototype stage, but as of now it opens to a camera and has a designated livestreaming feature (which would make sense, as Facebook has put a huge focus on its broadcast capabilities as of late).
The app would counteract Facebook’s decline in “original broadcast sharing” – the amount of personal updates and photos people post, like baby pictures and new job announcements – which dropped 21% year-over-year in mid-2015, according to The Information’s Amir Efrati.
Facebook reportedly has a team in London dedicated to working on this sharing problem, which has tried things like tweaking the News Feed algorithm to feature more original posts and putting more of an emphasis on holiday reminders and things like its On This Day feature. This new app is reportedly being developed by that same team.
Facebook already has a separate photo sharing app called Moments, which lets groups share photos, but this new effort sounds closer to rival app Snapchat, which lets users send photos and videos back and forth as well as to the public with its Story feature.
It also sounds similar to something Facebook has tried in the past.
In 2014, the social network released a Snapchat-like app called Slingshot. The whole idea of Slingshot was to encourage users to create more photos -when the app first launched, users couldn’t even view another person’s picture message unless they created their own. The app failed to take off, Facebook pulled the plug on it by the end of the year.
Facebook declined to comment.