On Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), photos reign supreme. In 2013, the social network giant released a white paper in which it revealed some interesting statistics regarding the photo aspect of its website. More than a quarter of a trillion photos have been uploaded to Facebook and roughly 350 million pictures are uploaded every day.
Despite our obsession with picture taking and sharing each moment of our lives with the world to see, many of these pictures never make it off our smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Well, the team at Facebook’s Creative Labs may have found the solution, and thy name is Moments.
What is Facebook Moments?
The newest standalone app, which was released Monday for the iOS and Android in the United States, is meant to make it a lot simpler and faster to privately share photos with our friends and family outside of Facebook. Essentially, it saves the many photos on your camera roll that contains your friends and you simply hit a couple of buttons to instantly share those images.
Moments works like this: it uses face-recognition technology that produces suggested tags when uploading a photo of somebody. Moments then scans your camera roll for those faces and syncs them to album-like groups based on which friends are in the pictures and where they were taken. Moreover, if a friend uses the same app, they will notice the photos inserted into their own synced collection; if they don’t have the app then they’ll get a message informing them of photos idling in Moments.
When you go to a wedding, for example, there are many people taking great photos throughout the day,” wrote Will Ruben, Facebook’s Product Manager, in a blog post. “You all want a quick way to share your photos with the friends who are in them, and get photos that you’re in back. The same is true for smaller events too, like a kayak trip or a night out.”
Perhaps the most important aspect of this development is that the photos are private and not shared directly on the Facebook. Of course, you do have the option to share these photos directly to Facebook, Instagram and other social media apps.
Indeed, Moments is for sharing, but many experts opine that it could always serve as a backup feature. Since there is no photo storage limit and it can be synced to your account, the photos are retrievable in the worst case scenario.
It should be noted, too, that images saved aren’t high-quality because the app was developed for speed and quality. This means if you are using Moments as a fail-safe then be prepared to recover images that aren’t of full quality.
Reactions From the Tech Community
What do critics say? Well, Moments is generating mixed feedback. Here is what Casey Newton of The Verge wrote:
But there’s little doubt that Moments is useful, even for just rediscovering the photos you’ve always taken. And we all may be better off surprising one another with embarrassing old photos privately in Moments than by tagging each other publicly on Facebook. For a complete solution to managing your photos, you’ll want to look elsewhere.”
With that being said, Newton did posit that at least an Internet behemoth is taking photos seriously once again.
Josh Constine of TechCrunch averred that Moments feels like something engineers built primarily for Facebook employees.
With Facebook’s R&D budget topping $1 billion, what else is the company working on?