Facebook is creating a new app very similar to the disappearing app Snapchat. The standalone app, which is being designed to encourage user engagement, is being developed by Facebook’s “friend sharing” team in London, says The Wall Street Journal.
How Facebook plans to differentiate it
With the growing importance of smartphones and high-speed data connections, Facebook sees a big opportunity in making its 1.6 billion users share more. A camera app can serve this purpose and help it compete with rival Snapchat.
According to the report, to differentiate its app, Facebook is also mulling a new feature which will allow users to start live streaming through the app at the touch of a button. Facebook is looking to create an engaging experience with the new app that motivates sharing and goes beyond previous attempts like the earlier Camera and 2014’s Slingshot, an app similar to Snapchat. The social networking site discontinued both apps after they failed to gain momentum.
Citing people familiar with the matter, The Journal reports that Facebook’s stand-alone app is currently in its early stages and may never come to fruition. Nevertheless, the move highlights Facebook’s ongoing efforts to encourage users to share more valuable, personal information as opposed to only checking in a few times a day.
Is it just another app from Facebook?
In recent times, the social networking giant has offered plenty of new ways for users to consume content; for instance, users can consume content by watching a favorite celebrity or Facebook’s Live Articles or page go live. However, the ways of sharing and creating content have mostly stayed the same.
Whether this new standalone app will work or not can’t be said now. For years, the social networking site has tried to make other standalone apps, mostly through its Creative Lab Division. In December when Facebook closed Creative Labs, it killed Rooms, Riff and Slingshot with it. However, its alternative news reader Paper continued to grow under the heaps of unused mobile apps.
A strong integration with Facebook Live may make this app more successful as the mobile live streaming platform is experiencing explosive growth. On the other hand, it could also be a repeat of history for the social media giant. Facebook Camera, another stand-alone app, was launched prior to its acquisition of Instagram in 2012, and two years later, it was shut down.
As of now, there has been no comment from the social media giant on the report.