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May 28, 2012

Facebook Camera app is a small step in the right direction

In the past weeks Facebook has released two new mobile apps- Facebook Camera & Pages. This blog post will be about the Camera app and a bit later I will take up Pages as well.

I already did a blog post a while back about the importance of focusing on one feature when building a mobile app. And a while after that I learn that Facebook has released dedicated mobile app for sharing photos. It almost seems that mister Zuckerberg himself is reading my blog and tightly following my recommendations. Good for him! hehe

Now to the point- reason for that blog post on focus were cluttered apps by banks, social networks, various businesses and other companies. They do everything, but they don’t do anything well. The same goes for Facebook. Their app is comprehensive and includes streams, pages, photo sharing, groups and a lot of other things. It’s slow and painful experience on my iPhone 4 and I don’t even remember the last time I shared photo through facebook app. Not that I don’t  want my photos on Facebook, but it WAS much easier to post them via laptop.

When I wanted to share something on my Facebook from my iPhone, I used Instagram.  Seems ridiculous? It is. And that’s why I think that dedicated photo app is the right way to go. I already tried to post some pictures- it’s easy, quick and painless- works like a charm. It has one downside, though. See the next paragraph.

All the pictures posted through app are added to album “mobile uploads” with no option to choose otherwise. It’s strange that Facebook (or anyone else, for that matter) would force people to use their computers to create appropriate albums. There’s no point in doing that. As anyone can see, iOS app is fully capable of hosting a simple interface for multiple photo upload. It just doesn’t make sense to put user through the pain that is connected to posting photos with pc or mac. Think about it- while not letting to create albums via app, Facebook makes anyone who wants to upload photo to album to:

  • move photos from phone to pc,
  • log in to Facebook
  • go through the album upload process

And all this despite the fact that this can be done easily via mobile phone. Fix this, Facebook. Please. Yes, Mark, I’m saying this to you. Thanks for reading, by the way.

Facebook needs our photos, that’s one of the reasons why our friends (some, at least?) log in to Facebook. We don’t do it for Zuckerberg (sorry, Mark) or Facebook itself. We log in to facebook for data (updates, photos, videos) of other’s aggregated via our social (friends) & interest (pages, subscriptions) graphs. And for that everyone needs tools for easier sharing in the ways we want to. That’s why this dedicated app is the step in right direction.

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Māris Antons

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