Facebook is Testing Yet Another Snapchat-like Feature

When it comes to technology, everyone is emulating each other. The companies look at the best features and then integrate them into their own devices, apps and sites. Most of the time the emulating of features makes sense as it means that most devices and apps can work in the same way whilst still standing out thanks to their individual features. However, it is becoming a bit of a joke that Facebook want to be the next Snapchat. They're always trying to emulate them and after their recent success on Instagram, they're trying it again on their flagship app.

We keep mentioning how original sharing is down on Facebook. People are more likely to copy things from other people or share links to videos and other things. Facebook wants its users sharing statuses, video and their own pictures. They've been pushing a lot when it comes to getting users to share live video recently and now they're testing how to push pictures more. In Brazil and Canada, Facebook is testing a camera-first opening screen on their flagship app. That means when you open Facebook, you'll see a live camera taking up about half of the screen. You can probably share video as well as pictures this way but if you want to take a quick selfie with a friend or to highlight something you want to share quickly, this could be useful. You can still see at least one status below the camera before you scroll down but the point to this is to gear Facebook more at you the moment you open the app. The classic status box was great but it was a blank text box that not everybody will feel the need to use, seeing how good you look the second you open the app might make you more inclined to share. This camera box will also have filters and face-altering lenses - most likely from MSQRD - to make your photos more fun and more Snapchat like.

At the moment Facebook is not planning on bringing this feature to the US quickly. Random selfies aren't very often the sort of thing people share on Facebook unless they're drunk, with friends or just want that selfie as their profile picture. People might be able to share photos of shopping hauls and meals easier but might that make Facebook a little too much like Instagram? It's hard to say. You can see why Facebook have done this and you can see that it could be a useful feature but it's hard to point out where that usefulness begins and what people actually share ends. Facebook isn't a private social media service. Yes, you can block who sees what and you can even make it so other users can't search for you but unless you message someone directly, all of your friends can see it. Instagram's Stories works well because it's private so you can share anything, Facebook's instant camera might not work if people don't have anything to take pictures of.

Facebook do want to roll this out globally eventually but for now, they're just testing the waters.

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