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May 25, 2012

Facebook's Instagram Twin?

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

Facebook (News - Alert) has lately been criticized for failing to generate more revenue from mobile advertising. Last month, the company bought Instagram for $1 billion – a move people guessed was a strategy for improving mobile ad graphics.

Last week, Facebook hired the team from Lightbox, another strategy people guessed was for improving imaging.

Today, the social network launched a standalone camera application, available for download through iTunes. Facebook’s Camera app allows users to upload multiple images at once, and is in many ways Instagram’s twin. People want to know why.

Facebook needed a camera app to bypass the cumbersome process of uploading pictures to Facebook using the proper app. But many would have guessed the app would be under Instagram’s name and made available on Facebook, seeing how the company invested so much in the service.

The fact that Facebook created its own app suggests they used Instagram’s technology but not their name, which was the purpose of that contract. Others guess Facebook created its own app as a way to protect itself in the event that the contract with Instagram falls apart because of regulations by the FTC (News - Alert).

It’s still also possible that there is a different purpose for Instagram as there is for the camera app.

The camera app allows iPhone (News - Alert) and iPad users to better view images, because images span the entire screen. The primary concern people have identified as the reason Facebook’s mobile advertising is ineffective is that Facebook did not adapt ad images to mobile devices, making images difficult to see. The camera app allows users to upload multiple images at once. Maneuvering through photos is easy via mobile device because images respond to slide touch.

PCWorld argues Facebook’s camera app is intended to focus only on friends’ photos, but perhaps only time will further manifest the social networks reason for its recent behavior.

Edited by Braden Becker
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