Facebook strategy of copying Snapchat's stories feature on its native app after already introducing it in Instagram and WhatsApp was met with lukewarm reception from users. However, the company is hell-bent on making upgrades to its Camera app to try and set it apart from the competitors and capture a wider audience.
On 15 August, the social media giant introduced a feature allowing users to go live from the Facebook Camera, shoot GIFs and put up full screen text on a coloured background.
The new update gives a lot of creative and visual appeal to the Camera app and might help capture the younger audience that's hooked on Instagram and Snapchat. The going live update for the Facebook Camera can also be used with the augmented reality (AR) face filters offered in the app.
The coloured backgrounds and live features have been offered earlier by Facebook in the status updates. The GIF creator was tested in the Camera last month for iOS users. Now, Facebook plans on rolling out these updates for the Camera app on iOS and Android in an effort to increase its usage among the one billion monthly active users of the social networking site.
Facebook however, has been silent on how many people have been using the Camera update. Instagram on the other hand, owned by Facebook, has shown remarkable numbers, beating rival Snapchat by a considerable margin.
Facebook has been more invested in acquiring AR technology, which it believes to be the future. On 12 August, the company acquired German computer vision startup Fayteq, which is known for its video-editing technology that makes it possible to add or remove objects from existing videos. This could be the stepping point for Facebook to introduce an AR developer platform not available on Snapchat, and gain users.
It remains to be seen how Facebook plans to bring in a larger audience for its 'redundant' Camera app when it is already accomplishing enough with Instagram.