A new report by The Wall Street Journal claims that Facebook, in an attempt to increase the percentage of users who share videos, photos and status updates about their lives on the social networking platform, are in the process of developing a stand-alone camera app. Similar to Snapchat, an early version of the app reportedly opens to a camera and allows users to record video via a live stream. While the app is in its “early stages” and may never even make it to market, The Wall Street Journal notes that the fact that Facebook is even tinkering around with such an app reflects its current standing with its competitors:
Still, it reflects anxiety within Facebook over users’ increasingly passive behavior on the social network. Many users check Facebook daily or even multiple times a day, but fewer are sharing photos, videos and status updates about their own lives. Reversing the trend is a growing priority within the company.
A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment on product plans. The spokeswoman said the overall level of sharing on Facebook was strong and “similar to levels in prior years.” The people familiar with the matter said the camera-first format is aimed at motivating users to create photos and videos.
By comparison, Facebook’s flagship mobile app opens to a personalized feed of articles, status updates and ads that encourages users to consume content, but not necessarily create it. The approach also differs from Facebook’s Instagram image-sharing network, which has gained a reputation as a place to post only the best, most well-photographed images. Instagram forces users to go through several steps before posting a picture, including filters. This isn’t the first time Facebook has built an app to encourage sharing.(via)
While Facebook’s camera app was initially meant to encourage users to create and share their own content, technology website The Information reports that “original broadcast sharing” on Facebook “was down 21% as of mid-2015.”
However, The Wall Street Journal points out that all new apps face the challenge of overcoming users’ reluctance to download additional apps onto their phones. As for how Facebook will combat this primary issue remains to be seen.
[H/T The Wall Street Journal]