The Facebook Moments app for iOS and Android will be shutting down on Feb. 25. It’s a standalone Facebook app which allows users to privately share photos and videos.
Was the Facebook Moments app actually useful?
Facebook launched the Moments app in 2015, offering users a new way to manage their photos and videos. The app also featured the company’s facial recognition software, which enables users to easily identify people in photos and share the photos with their friends. However, Facebook hasn’t updated the app for quite some time now, and yesterday, it revealed its intentions of shutting down the app.
“We’re ending support for the Moments app, which we originally launched as a place for people to save their photos. We know the photos people share are important to them so we will continue offering ways to save memories within the Facebook app,” the company told CNET in a statement.
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Although the app seemed useful, it didn’t actually interest users because it didn’t link their photos to the main Facebook app. The social networking giant added many tools to the app, like the ability to identify users’ friends, their birthdays and more. However, most users preferred to share their photos and videos on the main Facebook app or use services like Google Photos instead.
The Facebook Moments app was caught up in controversy shortly after its launch. At the time, privacy advocates criticized the app for its intrusive software algorithms which automatically recognize users’ friends. The social networking giant was also caught forcing users to download the Moments app. There were reports that the company notified some users that their photos would be deleted if they didn’t download the app.
Why is Facebook closing the Moments app?
Facebook says it is closing the app because not many people are using it. However, according to the app data analytics firm Sensor Tower, the Moments app has been downloaded 87 million times from the Play Store and App Store since its launch in June 2015. In June 2016, the app surpassed 10.7 million downloads.
The social networking giant never really promoted the app aggressively by adding new features. Moreover, the Moments app competed with the company’s other products as well, like the Stories feature.
The Stories feature also includes a direct sharing option, but it’s for one-offs rather than whole albums. However, it was enough for users to overlook the Moments app entirely to send photos to selected friends privately, and Facebook says it will continue to update the Stories app to make it more convenient for users to share photos and videos with friends.
Facebook’s decision to shut down the Moments app also highlights a recurring problem for the social networking giant – a failure to encourage users to adopt apps beyond its core offerings. Apps like Paper, Lifestage and tbh have also been closed down in recent years, primarily because few people were using it.
Facebook is currently dealing with even bigger problems, including data breaches, the spread of fake news on its platform and more.
How to save your photos
Those using the Moments app will now see a message informing them of the shutdown. Those who used the app in the last year or so will get a notification about the shutdown through the main Facebook app. Users who don’t want to lose the photos they uploaded to the Facebook Moments app have two export options, which can be accessed from the website version of Moments.
One option will create a private album of all the photos on the Facebook account. The other option downloads all the content to the user’s device. One can use any device to export their photos. Users have until May to export all their photos and videos from the Moments website.
If users decide to create private albums, they will notice a link next to each moment to view as an album on Facebook. Those who opt for downloading their files will be prompted to enter their Facebook password. The social network will display the file size and give users the option to select high, medium or low quality for the files. Users will receive a link and a notification when the files are ready for download.