Facebook has announced that its new Camera app will be launching later today. The app is a social photo-sharing app similar to Instagram.
Facebook Product Manager Dirk Stoop outlined briefly what functionality the app will have. When users first download and log into the app they will be presented with a grid of pictures posted by people on their friends list. They can swipe through the images and easily tap to enlarge them and "Like" or comment on them.
Facebook Camera also makes sharing photos to Facebook easier by allowing users to share multiple photos at once. Users simply select each photo they wish to upload by marking it with a check mark, then tap the post button.
The feature that makes the app most Instagram-like is its ability to edit photos. Users can crop and rotate photos before posting, and can, of course, add a variety of filters.
Facebook Camera strengthens Facebook's position in the mobile market, something the company stated was a priority during its IPO last week. The app could also be geared to appeal to photographers, who are one of the few niche groups to have fully embraced Google+.
This app comes just weeks after Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, which is a company devoted to creating a photo-sharing app. If Facebook Camera is really based on Instagram technology, the turnaround for producing the app would have to have been lightening-fast. This suggests that Facebook was probably already nearing completion on Camera when Instagram was purchased. It is possible that Facebook was worried about the legal ramifications of releasing an app so similar to Instagram.
Facebook provided a short, soundless clip that demonstrates how Camera will work, which you can view below. The app, if it isn't already at the time you read this, will be available for download in Apple's App Store later today.