I’ve just read on the Wall Street Journal, that a team of Facebook engineers are working on a standalone app with a big focus on live streaming. The first thing you’ll see when you open up the app is a camera..kinda like Snapchat, and you will be able to capture photos, videos and stream them via Facebook Live.
It’s no secret that now that Facebook has cracked social media, it’s making a foray into live streaming, and also developing content creation tools. Facebook believes live mobile video is where its future lies (remember the tale of Buzzfeed, a watermelon and 690 rubber bands?), and since they couldn’t buy up Snapchat, they’ve stuck to copying them, in hopes that the sheer scale they have will prove enough of an advantage.
It’s not the first time Facebook is building a standalone app though. There’s been an entire flurry of them, developed by its now-defunct Creative Labs division, but none of them really gained any traction. That is, except Messenger, which was essentially forced on us when they killed off the messaging feature in the main Facebook app. It’s also not its first camera app. In 2012, before it acquired Instagram, Facebook had an app called Facebook Camera, which it promptly shut down 2 years later.
I’d like to see whether Facebook takes this opportunity to get its 1.6 billion users to engage more with the platform. That is, if this camera app makes it out of prototype stage, and into a public rollout.