Another Facebook standalone app? I’m trying, but I just can’t muster my surprised face. Facebook released the Moments app today on both iOS and Android. It is designed to help you organize and share photos from a particular event.
Great idea, but why can’t we have this on Facebook’s native app? I get companies want to unbundle their services. It’s casting a wide net to grab as many users as you can. Secure their data and use it for advertising targeting. Profit trumps user annoyance at the end of the day.
When you download Moments to your phone, it shows you events grouped together using the metadata from the photos. Who needs the Patriot Act, right NSA? Just accidentally on purpose scoop up communications.
Moments will try to recognize people in the photo as your friends, and suggest you share the collection with them. If it flames out and can’t recognize anyone, you can tag the people in the photos. It’s one of the most interesting features of the app. It is using artificial intelligence and facial recognition to ID faces.
Where the app goes off course is the unbundling. Say you have event collection from a pool party and you want to share it with a friend. That person has to have Moments installed. They will receive a notification preview in Messenger – another standalone app from Facebook – prompting them to install the app.
If it sounds annoying as hell, it’s because it is. It isn’t just Facebook doing the unbundling. Google is just as guilty with Hangouts, Google Now, etc. Maybe Facebook should build out its own mobile OS and put it all under one roof.
Oh, wait… Facebook did that with Home, and it failed rather spectacularly.
Before you tap on Apple’s App Store or Google Play, Moments is from Facebook’s Creative Labs. The team that brought you Slingshot and Poke. Don’t remember those two? Maybe that should serve as a wait and see warning.
If Moments does gain traction, it will be interesting to watch the progression of facial recognition in social media. That alone is worth the launch of the app. Head over to Facebook’s Newsroom to watch a video explaining the company’s AI research program.
If only we could return to the one feature-rich app instead of the countless standalones. It’s a pipe-dream, but I’m holding on to the hope.