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Facebook Releases a Photocentric App for Apple Devices

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Kainaz Amaria | Bloomberg | Getty Images
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Facebook on Thursday announced a new application for the iPhone and iPod Touch called Facebook Camera , which is intended to make it easier to take pictures and share them on Facebook.

Dirk Stoop, a Facebook product manager for photos, said that the application was much faster than the current Facebook app for Apple’s iOS , and that it puts photos are the center of the experience.

“We can basically show you more photos on the app, so we can make a more immersive experience around your photos,” Mr. Stoop said. “On the side of publishing these photos, Facebook Camera lets you upload much higher resolution photos at up to 2,048 by 2,048 pixels wide.” The standard Facebook application uploads lower-resolution pictures.

The application will also finally bring photo filters to Facebook. Last year I wrote that Facebook was planning to add a series of filters to its mobile applications, but that project was delayed.

Facebook Camera will offer 15 filters, and will also include tools for cropping and straightening photos, much like the photo editing tools within Apple’s photo app. The filters will include cool, light, bright, golden, cream and neon. “They are stylistic in nature, they are not just enhancements,” Mr. Stoop said.

It might seem strange for Facebook to release a camera application with built-in filters just weeks after announcing plans to buy Instagram, the social photo app. But Facebook Camera is aimed at a different audience. Instagram has 40 million users, while Facebook has 900 million. This leaves a large swath of people who are not on Instagram but are actively taking photos and uploading them to Facebook. The filters in Facebook Camera were developed by Facebook and are not borrowed from Instagram.

Derick Mains, a spokesman for Facebook, said the company chose to highlight photos in the application after seeing people share massive amounts of photos on Facebook and spend a lot of time interacting with them.

“As you can imagine, people love to share and view photos on Facebook, so giving people a great photo experience has been a really big priority for us,” Mr. Mains said.

Mr. Stoop added: “We spent a lot of time making the app very fast. The whole viewing experience is faster. The app launches really fast and it scrolls like butter.”

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