GEARBURN ONLINE, MAY 26, 2012 (PHNO) By Steven Norris: Gearburn Editor - It screams Instagram, but not really.

It’s the Facebook Camera app and it’s available now for download. But do you want it? I say “yes”.

Let’s look at the facts: this is Instagram for Facebook in all but name.

The great blue social network is buying Instagram. It’s extending its claws into everything. If you want to take an artsy, hipster shot, use Instagram.

If you want to share photos of duckfaces, use the Facebook Camera app. Either way Facebook wins. Onto the review.

Less is more

The Facebook Camera app can upload multiple photos at once which is pure win.

It shows friends photos in one scrolling window, let’s you crop, tag friends and add “cool” filters.

It’s an exceptionally minimal interface, with a decidedly Yahoo! Axis like approach.

Slide down to reveal photos on the iPhone, slide up to show the Facebook photo stream.

Taking an image is simplicity itself. Simply tap the camera icon in the top left corner and you’re good to go.

Grease is the word

The app is super-slick. I’m talking about dipped-in-Vaseline-and-rolled-in-motor-oil slick.

On the iphone 4 especially, the app is crisp and well-defined. The learning curve is roughly 10 seconds and bang, you’re posting images to Facebook.

So the picture is taken and added to the internal image gallery. Click on the image itself, or the little green tick box to select multiple images. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to how many images you can upload at once.

There’s scant few options to play around with preceding an image upload.

You’re limited to cropping the image, which is the exact same as the iPhone’s standard cropping tool and works well enough, or adding filters which are so “Instagram” it hurts.

Except the filters can’t touch the glossy goodness of uncle Instagram.

There are options like Cream, Boost, Neon and Black and White.

When you’re happy with how the photo looks, click on the blue submit button, add in the usual Facebook status shit and post. Couldn’t be simpler.

Much love

So why do I like it more than Instagram?

Facebook is the center of my social life. Instagram isn’t.

By combining the best of both Facebook and Instagram, you get a slick, usable app with loads to offer.

Highly recommended.







Facebook launches iPhone camera app By BARBARA ORTUTAY AP Technology Writer Published: Thursday, May. 24, 2012 - 10:12 am Last Modified: Thursday, May. 24, 2012 - 2:44 pm

NEW YORK -- Facebook's rocky initial public offering hasn't stopped life at the world's biggest online social network. On Thursday, the company unveiled a camera app for the iPhone.

The app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store and works like most other camera applications for smart phones. To take a photo, you tap a camera icon in the upper left corner of your screen, aim and shoot. You can then add filters, crop or tilt your photo, and share it on Facebook.

The new app is similar to Instagram, the photo-sharing app Facebook is in the process of buying for $1 billion. The acquisition, however, has not yet been completed, and Instagram's employees did not work on the photo app.

Facebook has said it expects the Instagram acquisition to close sometime this year.

Facebook didn't give details on when it might release a version of the app for phones that run on Google's Android operating system.

 In a statement, Facebook said it is "carefully looking at what might make for a good Facebook photos experience across Android devices."

Read more here:

Technology writer for the Associated Press.]



Facebook launches 'Instagram rival' camera app By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor 10:05AM BST 25 May 2012

Facebook has launched a camera app for the iPhone which offers similar functionality to Instagram, only six weeks after purchasing the company for $1bn.

The app, which is called Camera, is available on the iPhone for free and has been created in a bid to enhance the Facebook photos mobile experience.

However, it has been compared to Instagram, the photo app Facebook paid $1bn for at the start of April.

Camera lets people share multiple photos all at once, add captions, tag friends and layer on different filters to change the look of the photos – in a similar fashion to Instagram.

Despite having made the large offering for the photo-sharing app (which has yet to generate any revenues) last month, it could take Facebook up to 12 months to actually own Instagram because of an obligatory competition probe into the deal.

It is understood that Facebook had been working on an ‘Instagram rival’ for some time and ‘Camera’ is the result of that work.

Crucially Facebook’s dedicated photo app is all about creating images for sharing on Facebook and seeing fellow Facebook users’ images.

While Instagram is about creating photos and sharing them across the different social networks such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief, stated at the time of the deal last month that he would not shut down Instagram once it came under Facebook’s control.

The ways in which the social network will look to integrate Instagram into its offering are not yet known.

Facebook is struggling to monetise its mobile offering – something it disclosed ahead of its recent IPO - which has been blighted with problems since floating last week.

Some of the social network’s new shareholders are now suing Zuckerberg after the share price tumbled in the first week.

[PHOTO- Emma Barnett is The Telegraph's award-winning Digital Media Editor, writing news, features and profiles about all forms of digital media, including digital start ups, social networks, growing trends, and new initiatives from both traditional media companies and digital firms. She also writes a monthly column in The Sunday Telegraph's 'ThinkTank' section in which she analyses what the latest technology and digital media trends mean for businesses worldwide. Follow her on Twitter: @emmabarnett. ]


Who's getting rich from Facebook's $1bn Instagram deal? By Katherine Rushton, Media, telecoms and technology editor 12:30PM BST 10 Apr 2012

[PHOTO -Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom, chief executive (right), and Mike Krieger at the company offices in San Francisco. Photo: New York Times / Redux / eyevine]

Mark Zuckerberg first tried to recruit Instagram’s founder and chief executive, Kevin Systrom, to Facebook in 2004, before the social networking had charted its extraordinary growth trajectory and while Mr Systrom was still an undergraduate at Stanford University.

He turned the offer down, insisting he wanted first to complete his degree in Management Science and Engineering - a gamble which would many would have lived to regret but which, for Mr Systrom, has paid off handsomely.

According to leaked figures, the outgoing 28-year-old photography enthusiast owns a 40pc stake in the photo app business, handing him a windfall of $400m (£250m) for the company he started less than two years ago.

Although he turned down Facebook, Mr Systrom cut his teeth at some of the companies which have become the technology industry’s biggest names – interning at Odeo, which later became Twitter, and spending two years at Google working on early products like Gmail and Google Reader.

He continues to indulge his love of photography, as well as a passion for food and wine – chronicling long cooking sessions and recently dining with the chef Jamie Oliver. Announcing the deal on his Facebook page, he said his sudden riches would allow him to buy a few more bottles of one of his favourite things – champagne.

Mike Krieger is Instagram’s leading developer and the next biggest beneficiary of the Facebook deal after Mr Systrom. Although the pair never met at university, he is also a Stanford graduate, writing his thesis on the way computer interfaces can be used to get people to collaborate on a large scale.

That technical knowledge has helped Instagram to attract the 30m users that so impressed Facebook, and netted Mr Krieger around $100m for his reported 10pc stake in the company. Before joining the business with Mr Systrom, he was a software developer at Microsoft, working in its PowerPoint team, and then with the instant messaging network, Meebo.

The two men will be sharing their windfall with a few key investors with their own ties to Facebook, including the private equity firms Andreessen Horowitz and Benchmark Capital. Benchmark’s partner Matt Cohler led a $7m fundraising for Instagram last year, reportedly taking a stake of around 25pc and valuing the business at $25m. Cohler, who has a seat on Instagram’s board, was an early employee of Facebook and still serves as a “special advisor” to the social network.

[PHOTO -Katherine Rushton joined the Telegraph in June 2011 and has been Media, Telecoms and Technology Editor since August. Before that she worked on trade magazines including Broadcast, The Bookseller and Drapers where she was deputy editor.]


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