Facebook Camera Reviews: A “Second Rate” Instagram Clone? That’s Not the Point

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In reading a few reviews of Facebook’s latest mobile app release – Facebook Camera – it occurs to me that perhaps the company should have allowed it to marinate in the knowledge of its newly acquired Instagram development team. That said, perhaps Facebook’s decision to release Facebook Camera had less to do with the product being ready that it did with pressure to have something new and useful unveiled directly after its IPO, with the understanding that improvements and tweaks would come later. If this is true, it would be keeping with one of Facebook’s mantras: Done is better than perfect. It could also be that the app is not meant to be spectacular, but a pretty good tool to allow the social network’s vast sea of users a more streamlined means of swapping pics.

NBC reporter, Raymond Wong, released a review of the new app, noting that it is minimalistic and handsome. Your photos taken with Facebook Camera, as well as those on your iPhone camera roll, can be accessed and edited with 14 filters before being uploaded to your Facebook page in a batch. Wong noted some bugs as well, for instance the slow load times and the inability to write captions for individual photos while uploading pics in batches.

Though Mashable’s Christina Warren said the new products was not a bad app, she called Facebook Camera “an Instagram clone — and a second-rate one at that,” citing camera filters that don’t reach the level of quality that Instagram offered, even though Instagram’s were relatively simplistic to begin with. The functionality, connection to other photo apps and its connection to a user’s Facebook account and friends are the real step forward taken with the new app, and the potential to be Facebook’s YouTube is indeed real.

TechCrunch’s Josh Constine argued that despite its ease of use, the fact that Facebook Camera is a standalone app could get it placed into a Facebook folder on users’ iphones, along with the company’s core app and messenger service. How much of a blow requiring an extra click to access the apps remains to be seen and could negligible, but who knows?

In my own experience with Facebook Camera, I can see why it would indeed be an attractive tool for the avid Facebooker on the go, snapping shots and uploading them while peeking at pics being uploaded by friends. The filters are not very compelling – and there aren’t many of them – and don’t offer radical alterations to your pictures. That may be enough for the average user, but those who like to take an extra moment to make a photo look a little better – or a little weirder – will opt for other photo apps likeCamera+ or FX Photo Studio or Snapseed. For clicking pics while out with friends, on the go and shooting the images to web, Facebook’s product could be perfect, after it cleans itself up.

According to Mike Isaac of All Things D, Facebook Photos product manager, Dirk Stoop, said that the company had been working on the app long before the Instagram deal was on the table and the Instagram team had nothing to do with the finished product. Perhaps that’s part of the problem and why Facebook Camera could do with a tweak or two, possibly even an added feature. One wonders whether Instagram’s talent will have a crack at improving the already pretty good app.

Let’s be clear, it’s not the quality of Facebook Camera that makes it such a compelling product, it’s the vast network behind it. In fact, aside from the core offering that allowed it to accrue such a following, that’s the only thing that really makes any of Facebook’s products compelling.

Have you downloaded Facebook Camera yet? If so, let us know what your impressions are and comment.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/