As reported from an anonymous but “close” source by AllThingsD writer Mike Isaac, Facebook will be testing and possibly rolling out a new app that will allow users to send pictures privately – and it’s rumored video will be added, as well – that will “self-destruct” after a few seconds when it is viewed by the recipient. This type of private messaging isn’t a new landscape, however. The Facebook photo app would directly compete with an app called SnapChat, which already allows users to send pictures, video, and messages privately that are eventually deleted from the sender’s phone, the viewer’s phone, and even SnapChat’s servers.
Facebook has been a slow adapter to the mobile marketplace, with a history of building on the HTML-5 platform, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg blames for their late start at a recent TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. However, the social networking giant has made the switch to native code and is aggressively entering the mobile market by adding a new Facebook photo app.
According to PC World, the currently unnamed Facebook photo app will work much in the same way as SnapChat. The user can select one or more friends to view the message, then the user can select how long the message can be accessed once it is viewed (normally only a few seconds).
Facebook’s new aggressive approach to their mobile brand includes a separate messaging app for their chat function. Their $1 billion buy-out of Instagram made waves in the media as it become their go-to photo app, and they even have an app specifically for branded pages.
The push for privacy is more than likely another reason for the development of the photo app. The social network has has been the target of much media outcry for their questionable privacy practices. Most recently, ReadWrite published an article exposing how brands on Facebook accumulate unauthorized Likes from users. The article’s writer highlighted how a deceased friend of his was suddenly liking pages from beyond the grave.
Regardless, Facebook is putting forth the effort to continue to have a large presence in the mobile landscape and provide competitive alternatives to popular mobile apps. Unlike SnapChat, a user’s Facebook ID will be needed to use the Facebook photo app, so it won’t be completely anonymous to send out picture messages. No release date has been announced yet.
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