Facebook has never been shy of delving into waters previously reserved for some of its biggest competitors. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook is developing a stand-alone camera app that will allow users live stream as well. According to the report, a prototype is currently being developed by the Facebook team and is in the early stages. The aim is to encourage sharing among users on Facebook which according to reports is on the decline. Reports have it original broadcast sharing on Facebook was down 21% year on year. This by itself could signal less engagement and Facebook thinks a stand-alone app for your own photos (original broadcast) could do the magic even as 33% of users said they updated their profile status in the past month and 37% said they uploaded and shared their own photos in a separate poll by GlobalWebIndex. This was carried out in the first quarter of 2016 and meanwhile when compared to a year ago, 44% of users said they updated their profile status in the month before while another 46% said they uploaded and shared their photos.
The news is not all bad for the social media giant though as more users clicked the “Like” button in the first quarter of 2016 by a good margin, 82% of users clicked the button at least once in the month before and this is up 9% from the same period last year. This could easily be attributed to the changes brought to the Like button as we know it. Instead of a dislike button as many expected, Facebook introduced a series of emotional emojis to reflect how you feel at a particular time about a post. All you have to do it hover your mouse on the Like button and you can select which one best describes how you feel. Its these kinds of services that keep users logged on to the site.
Facebook has now gone from being a photo sharing site to videos with plans to collaborate even more with content creators to make original videos for the site in a profit sharing scheme. This is similar to what YouTube does but it’s not the only one who’s looking to tap into the potentials of video on social media. Snapchat is another company with an eye on videos.
Facebook’s Save feature is now being used by about 250 million users with plans to make the service even more visible. All of these is to encourage more users to stay on Facebook but its seems Facebook might be ready to address the one challenge of sharing it has. This app like other apps it tried to release in the past without much success like sling shot (a Snapchat like app) always start out with much excitement but are short lived. This may be different though as the report also says there will be an instant Instagram share as well when the app gets released. It sure looks like Facebook wants to go the stand-alone apps way this time though to make services more streamlined.
Facebook now has nearly 1.6 billion users with an aim to reach more people even in remote regions through its internet.org program.
In other Facebook news which we didn’t report after its recently concluded F8 conference, Facebook now has a high quality 3D-360 camera it calls Surround 360.
Facebook Surround 360 uses a 17-camera array and a web-based software to capture images in 360 degrees and render them automatically. The aim of this is to increase the amount of 360-degree video on its platform and more interestingly, its open source and there are plans to release it as an open-source project on GitHub. Features include
- 14 wide angle cameras on a horizontal ring
- 1 fish eye lens on top and 2 on bottom for complete spherical coverage
- Global shutter ensures that each camera captures the pixels in sync
It costs $30,000 to buy the materials necessary to build a Surround 360. Devices like this could change the face of film making especially with respect to cost and creativity due to the open source nature of it.
It will be available in the summer of 2016.