Facebook announced the launch of its Camera app for Apple’s iOS on Thursday; which has led users to wonder where that leaves Instagram, which the company is acquiring.
Both apps essentially let users take pictures, apply old school photo effects and share them with friends and fans.
Users of Facebook’s camera will need to relearn some fundamentals. For one, to turn on the camera on Instagram (as well as Pinterest, coincidentally) is via a big button at the bottom of the screen; on Camera, it is located on the top left hand corner.
Even refreshing the stream takes some adjusting as now, instead of pulling down the screen, you have to click a reload icon. Pulling down on the screen reveals your the iPhone’s photo library.
What I like about Camera’s photostream is you can zoom into pictures and multiple pictures/albums can be accessed by swiping to the right. Instagram only allows single pictures to be displayed.
Camera also trumps Instagram by letting me upload multiple photos simultaneously to a single post.
However, Instagram grabs back a point by giving me access to pictures in the photo library as well as albums; Camera only links to the photo library.
Photo effects on Instagram are also a little more powerful as it offers a few extra filters to run your pictures through. If you’re not into filters, both apps take normal pictures equally well.
Facebook’s influence over its app is undeniable as Camera has more social elements built into it. Some say, a little too much. While Instagram pared down interaction to just likes and comments, Camera lets you tag friends and add geographical locations too.
Pictures on Camera are available to anyone whom you give access to, via your customised Facebook friends list, while Instagram shots are only available to followers — which means shots now get more eyeballs but it also means your eyeballs are subject to photos from fans, friends, and the odd stalker.
Camera also keeps sharing within the social network while pictures on Instagram can be emailed or shared via Twitter, and Facebook.
And one more thing: Facebook’s Camera requires “Location” to be turned on before it can be used. According to its FAQ, the iPhone camera and other apps automatically stores some information when a photo is taken, including the location where the photo was taken.
Unfortunately, Camera isn’t perfect; when I tried to tag a photo after its been posted I got lost trying to exit. Instead of letting you cancel your action or putting you back to the main stream after you’re done, you’re left looking at the photo with no instructions on what to do. You need to click once more on the tag icon to get out of the (tagging) function before you can go back to the main feed.
Having said that, Camera is a great app to remove the noise of Facebook if you would rather just see photo postings by your friends.
Camera is currently not available in the Singapore App store but a Facebook spokesperson said it will be available to all users over the coming weeks.
Camera is only available for iOS now; Android users should not confuse it with the Facebook Camera app in Google Play.
To delete photos, click on it to view, then click and hold until the delete option pops up.
To save photos you’ve edited so you can come back to them later: Go to your iPhone Settings > Camera > Save Filtered Photos > On.
Tap twice on a photo to hide likes and comments.