Facebook’s engagement numbers have been slipping, and a new report from the Wall Street Journal points to one way the social media behemoth intends to try and win back users who are sharing less and less through the platform: a stand-alone camera app.
The report cites “people familiar with the matter” who claim that Facebook’s “friend-sharing” team has developed an early-stage camera application that’s a bit like Snapchat and Periscope put together.
Like Snapchat, it opens directly onto a camera (instead of a feed, like Instagram) although there’s no mention of any time limit on photos shared; like Periscope, it would allow users to live stream video they were capturing through Facebook Live.
Those who have been paying attention to Facebook’s app attempts for the past several years will remember that this is not the first (or second) time Facebook has tried creating a photography app. Both “Poke” and “Slingshot” were both meant to take on Snapchat but never managed to gain any substantial traction. Plus there was the Facebook Camera app that launched back in 2012 and died in 2014.
This new app, if it ever comes to fruition, will have an even more crowded app marketplace to deal with. Unless it can offer some novel or interesting to potential users—and, perhaps, even if it can—few are inclined to believe it will make have a substantial impact.
Image credits: Photo illustration based on Diplomacy in a Digital Age by Marc Muller