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Facebook releases first update to Camera app

Update comes a week after iOS app overhaul, signals Facebook's focus on mobile

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
August 28, 2012 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/29c1

Facebook has been kind of all over the place in terms of photo sharing this year, first buying up Instagram, and then debuting its own similar Camera app. Of course, there were some problems and complaints from users, which Facebook finally addressed today with its first update of the app.

Facebook Camera app version 1.1 was released Tuesday. Users can now upload photos to specific albums, or create new ones. They will also get notifications when someone comments, tags or likes a photo.

The updated app included some bug fixes, as well as 10 new languages, including French, German, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, and Spanish. The app was originally only available in English.

None of the updates were major, but they do show that Facebook is working to make its apps more user friendly, especially given that it comes less than a week after Facebook debuted a majorly-overhauled version of its iOS app.

The new Facebook iOS app is twice as fast, due to content being cached between views. It also has built-in Messenger functions. The update also allowed people to see profiles that are ported over to Timeline, which the previous app was not equipped to do.

The Facebook Camera app was released in May, only six weeks after it purchased Instagram for $1 billion in cash.

The app works a lot like Instagram, coming with 14 filters, including Hudson, Earlybird and Sutro. The app also lets users tag friends and locations, add a description, and post quickly within the app. 

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission gave Facebook approval to move forward with its purchase of Instagram, though the deal is still pending final close.

Facebook Mobile

There’s a good reason Facebook wants to enhance its mobile experience: its users are moving toward it in massive numbers.

According to a filing with the SEC at the end of July, Facebook saw its mobile monthly active users (MAUs) increase by 67% in the course of one year, from June 30, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

In June of this year alone, 102 million Facebook users accessed the site exclusively through the mobile app or mobile website, a 23% increased from the 83 million who did the same during March.

The 102 million accounts for nearly 20% of the 543 million MAUs Facebook had in June. The other 441 million, the document says, accessed from both a personal PC and a mobile device.

“Mobile is a huge opportunity for Facebook,” CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg pointed out in an earnings call following the release of its quarterly earnings report last month.

“On average, mobile users are around 20% more likely to use Facebook on any given day. So mobile not only gives us the potential to connect more people with our services, but it also gives us the ability to provide more value and a more deeply engaging experience."

Facebook has faced challenges in monetizing its mobile userbase, including how to seemlessly integrate advertisements into the mobile experience, though it found a partial solution to the problem earlier this month when it introduced mobile ads for apps, which will allows app developers to advertise on news deeds on Facebook’s mobile app.

Allowing developers to post ads on news feeds is a good first step, yet there is still more to be done for Facebook to fully capitalize on its growing mobile numbers.

Facebook was not available for comment.

(Image source: freshnessmag.com)


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