When Facebook bought Instagram, we got industry speakers saying that it was to kill competition from a relatively small but increasingly hot social media site. With the launch of Facebook Camera (currently for iPhone users), the idea stands vindicated. The question is in fact when Facebook’s got Instagram, why did it launch Camera, which first expert reviews across the online world shows to be very similar to Instagram.
Like in Instagram you can tinker with your photo, crop it, apply filter to create your unique picture. However, unlike Instagram, the photos on Camera can be shared directly from Facebook. Facebook Camera offers up a palette of 14 filters which is quite something for a mobile photographer. Some reviewers of the app feel that Camera is more social than Instagram. You can share the photo, tag a friend and put it up on your timeline. But the lovers of Instagram feel that it is a poor patch to the very popular photo app site which has more than 40 million users currently.
What market watchers are saying is that Facebook launched Camera to make most of its earlier investment when it was planning to take on Instagram with its in-house developed photo apps. Anyway, Facebook has always been criticised for its poor photo capture quality till now. However the user base that Camera will have from day one is over 90 million.
Now that both Instagram and Camera are under the same family, what remains to be seen is which one will survive. It is no doubt that Facebook will assimilate the Instagram engineers into its own fold, (Facebook is known to acquire companies simply to get the best talent in the market). But Camera is being kept within the Facebook community currently, while Instagram’s photos are viewed by followers, and can be shared via Twitter, Facebook and email. However, like Instagram photos on Facebook, Camera photos will also appear on Timeline at full-width and fast.
Reviewers agree that Camera is an improvement upon Facebook’s earlier photo capabilities. It is much sleeker, and has a certain ease of use. But it is still way off from Instagram. And after the user and follower protest against Instagram/Facebook deal, we do not think Facebook will phase out Instagram in favour of Camera, after all the users do overlap and Facebook needs as many people to ‘Like’ it as possible to stay on top.