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Facebook Is Building A Standalone Camera App To Encourage Its 1.6 Billion Users To Share More ( 57

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Facebook engineers in London are working on a standalone camera app with a big live-streaming component. Similar to Snapchat, the app would open straight into a camera to foster immediate capturing and posting of photos and videos, as well as letting users stream via Facebook Live. With billions of smartphones in the world and near-ubiquitous high-speed data connections, Facebook sees a huge opportunity to get its 1.6 billion users sharing more than ever before. A camera app may help the company do that, and better compete with Snapchat at the same time. Facebook has recently rolled out a major live video update allowing anyone to post live streams of themselves to their timeline. Previously, only celebrities and public figures were allowed to use the feature. With this new Facebook Live update and standalone camera app reportedly in the works, the only thing holding Mark Zuckerberg back with his plan to triple the size of his social network is affordable internet.
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Facebook Is Building A Standalone Camera App To Encourage Its 1.6 Billion Users To Share More

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  • I thought Instagram does the same thing.

    • Yeah I hear you. I don't even understand why people don't all drive Fords...I mean...aren't all other cars really about the same thing? And why is there Pepsi, isn't Coke basically just the same thing?
      • Yes, but you are pointing out products that are produced as competitors by different companies. This story is about a company with a strong product spending time and effort on another product that potentially competes with it (and thousands of other similar products, but never mind that!)
  • So what does it do, automatically take a picture of dinner and quote a Beat poet based on the food items it identifies?
    • We all saw how well the Microsoft tool did identifying stuff in photos. Although it would actually be kind of amusing to see what kind of inedible things such a tool would come up with.

    • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @08:53PM (#51986929) Journal

      Stored your image data where it will be held securely and privately to prevent others from using it to train face recognition software [*]

      [*] Fine print. Facebook, its parent company, subsidiaries, or business partners may from time to time share such information for quality purposes or for preparation of special offers for your delight. In addition FB et. al. will comply with any legitimate court orders of the country of origin, destination, storage, or transferal including any secret courts as needed to combat terrorism. In addition FB will comply with any treaty obligations concerning such information including edicts of unelected arbitration councils, courts, or enabling legislation. So don't worry, your information is safe from prying eyes.

      • You have to admit that a government which could track every citizen at all times through facial recognition software -- enabled by images uploaded to social media -- would provide a safer society. The power of information at work. Of course, there may be a cost; there's always a cost. I just don't think it's the 1984-inspired fantasy that most of its detractors seem to fear. And all I wanted was a Pepsi...
  • Hope vs Reality (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Facebook Hoped people will share more and do more of Facebook and the think Facebook is the web.

    Reality is users are sharing less personal stuff, sharing more cat meme pictures, and realise there is a big world out there with REAL friends who LIKE doing stuff with you in real life.

    Personally, I prefer the REAL friends I have, the ones I can borrow a car from, the ones who will go out drinking and bail you out the next morning. The ones who would walk over broken glass to be there with you in times of crisis

  • by ugen ( 93902 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @07:22PM (#51986537)

    I think the self-exposure trend is running its course. Even my more narcissistic FB contacts are posting fewer selfies in exotic locations and strange and unusual foods. FB is trying to keep it going, but nature takes its course and every fad will eventually go away.

    I wonder what's next? Hopefully something less obnoxious.

    • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @07:34PM (#51986593)

      I hope this fad does fade. its really boring and I'm tired of everyone always assuming you have a fb account.

      I was talking to a recruiter and she mentioned an opening at fb. I told her I don't have a fb account - would that be a showstopper for working there (I assume it would be, even if not explicitly stated). she was shocked to hear this and actually asked me WHY I didn't have a fb account.

      the fact that someone thought it was unusual to NOT have one, this is why I hope it dies soon. I have zero need for such things and the sooner it runs its course, the sooner we can get back to normal things again ;)

      • Like all of us, I only get so many hours a day. Like you, I choose to spend no fraction of them on Facebook.

        Why not? I don't want to be instantly available to everyone I've ever known. I reserve the use of the privilege to segregate my life to the people I want to stay in touch with.

        I figure we're either avant-garde or missing the greatest social linkup ever, and I'm okay with that.

      • by toonces33 ( 841696 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @08:16PM (#51986771)

        I know a number of people that don't have FB. And for that matter I don't have it myself.

        I can't help but wonder what fraction of the accounts are spammers and bots.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Data mining sites like the aforementioned fb only really exist to collect user's data and sell it to who-ever will pay. There is no "private" data on fb...its all gathered and sold. If you use fb, you are the product being sold.

        I have never had an fb account, and never will. I avoid these data mining sites and other data mining schemes (store discount cards etc...) like the plague!

        Having had little privacy growing up, I now guard my privacy zealously and to the best of my abilities!

    • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @07:42PM (#51986617) Homepage

      Even my more narcissistic FB contacts are posting fewer selfies in exotic locations and strange and unusual foods.

      This is what I'm seeing. I used to navigate to FB once in a while to essentially gawk at some of the more, uh, exhibitionist contacts, but recently it's all about spamming for Hillary or the outrage du jour (some of which are pretty depressing) and the occasional "really old woman out-dances young guy" sort of thing.
      I haven't logged on in months.

      Everyone I know is posting less pix online, and less information about themselves. Not just on FB, but G+, LinkedIn, etc.

      If Facebook really cared about it's viewership, it'd adopt some of the snapchat like features with timed-archival of photos, etc, and maybe, just maybe, make it really difficult for HR dept. and school investigators and the like to find embarrassing content on workers/students (a high-profile case like where Apple said FU to the FBI would be really nice).

      Maybe people are just done being "dumbfucks"? Maybe everyone is realizing that social media is also a problem vector?

      • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @07:53PM (#51986665)

        you hit on a key issue; the fact that employment is judging you based on your 'social media' posts - that sure puts a kibosh on any desire to truly express yourself in anything that is not vanilla-tame.

        we all realize that HR are bastards and will use anything they find against you. we all need jobs and most of us are not going to be company owners, so we WILL end up working for someone else, mostly the rest of our lives.

        who wants to worry about being out of work due to some social media post?

        the more the 'authorities' want to track us, the less we are interested in feeding their voyeurism.

        • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday April 25, 2016 @10:19PM (#51987193) Homepage Journal

          who wants to worry about being out of work due to some social media post?

          Who wants to work for a place that would care? It's quite a favor to the market, really - businesses that treat their employees this way *should* be driven into the ground by losing all their top talent.

          And, to be clear, almost all the top-talent people 'misbehave' in their free time.

          • Ey, sometimes you don't have a choice. Well, you do, but it isn't much of a choice, work at Shithouse Inc. or no longer have a home.

        • the fact that employment is judging you based on your 'social media' posts - that sure puts a kibosh on any desire to truly express yourself in anything that is not vanilla-tame.

          My employer does not have access to my "social media". I have never "friended" anyone I work with. If my employer "required" me to provide "social media" links, I would not work there.

          Anyway, I work for the DoD, if they really want, I suppose they can access all my favorite cat videos and the inane things I chat about with my high school and college buddies.

          The sex tapes and drunken debauchery on my phone that *does not* back-up on the "cloud", maybe they can get that, but it's never come up at any of my se

    • Hit the nail on the head man. Even the attention whores I know are posting less shit.

      The trend is running out of steam. Finally.

      I'm just hoping it isn't because of employers snooping on employees. If it is, as soon as normies realize they don't have to use their real name on facebook it's coming back in a big way.

    • FB turned into a race to the bottom, essentially. I figured this out a couple of years ago, and quit posting anything to it.

  • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @07:33PM (#51986589) Homepage

    Half the fun of Facebook is presenting yourself to your friends as a much cooler person than you actually are. How am I going to manage that when there's a live video feed showing them all my dorky self doing the talking?

  • Well, facebook is a public company, as such shareholders need to be promised ever increasing returns.

    Video streams seem like a nice overture to the tripple X business, eventually. After all, most of the FB users are adult anyway, right?

    Just imagine the possibilities that can be opened.... and the reach... and the fans...

  • I will take screenshots of all those stupid FB memes and post them as original photos, just to piss them off.
  • It's been a little while since I wrote mobile apps, but I seem to recall camera functions being freakin' easy to use. What are they "building" exactly ? These camera apps are the kind of thing a mobile noob can pump out in a day or two (speaking from experience). I mean, both iOS and Android APIs will happily encode to an MP4 file of your chosen quality, which you then read and upload wherever. Live streaming is less obvious, but well researched and documented... a simple copy-paste-tweak-run affair.


  • Strange. Facebook has been making a move to bring most of these apps back into the main app. They've tried standalone apps and outside the Messager app they've failed. They previously released a standalone camera app and it saw very little adoption so it was pulled from the app store. It'd be strange to see them try this route again after having failed previously.
  • Ogg draw nice huge circle in sand. Say, this is world, step inside Ogg show more.
    Ogg draw smaller rectangle inside world, say this is computer.
    Ogg draw smaller rectangle inside rectangle, say this is bigthink phone screen.
    Ogg draw squiggle inside, say this is Facebook.
    Ogg draw square in squiggle, say is LIKE button. Ogg like LIKE button.
    Ogg make dots by square, says is apps inside apps inside apps.
    Ogg pinch sand between fingers and let little grains fall, says this is all the people use apps.
    People spend wh

  • Why not lobby Google to improve the integration API and make it easier to use the native camera app inside other apps? Why does facebook have to duplicate functionality already present? I can only assume this will cause their app to become even more bloated. It's already at the beached-whale-about-to-explode point. Does everyone have unlimited memory for applications on their mobile device? I started bumping into the "Not enough memory to update this application" error years ago.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky