Facebook forces users to share photos with a new standalone app

Facebook makes an important move by replacing the Photo Sync feature from its main smartphone app with a new standalone app, called Moments. This will force users to download it, if they want to post their pictures to Facebook. This app promises an easier way to share photos but is only available on iOS and Android. You don’t have it yet in Windows 10, Windows Phone or other platforms. How will this work?

Photos are in the cloud and yet out of reach

We have been uploading our pictures to the cloud for some time now. Dropbox, OneDrive, Facebook, Instagram are just a few of the big names that want to help you handle your pictures. The reality is that sharing pictures is still the most broken promise at social events. “I will send you the pictures” is seldom followed through.

Another problem is finding your way through your archives of pictures. You have a few pictures with this friend of yours, but identifying them is a big headache. Smartphones have decent cameras which create an ever increasing photographic universe. Finding the right pictures with the right person, becomes an ever increasing puzzle, which is more and more difficult to solve. Let’s see how Moments helps its users handle their pictures:

What is so special about Moments?

Moments creates an additional hook for Facebook into your daily life. Having smaller, simpler apps that aim to perform a specific task efficiently, seems to be the way of the future. The big bloated Facebook app has become a subject of frustration for most smartphone users. The app takes a lot of resources, drains your battery quite fast and can be slow to respond. Separating Moments from the main Facebook app gives a chance for both apps to move faster and provide a more satisfying experience, individually.

Facebook, Moments, app, smartphone, mobile

The younger generations use Facebook, but alternative apps showed up on their smartphones too. They win by delivering less complexity and more privacy. Moments gives Facebook a brand that has a simple and clear value for its users and can promise more privacy.

The boldest move made by Facebook is the way they force people to download the app. The Moments app has been available for download since June this year. What is new is that the existing Photo Sync feature will disappear from Facebook’s main app and you will be forced to go for Moments, if you want to continue to have an easy way to share pictures with your Facebook friends. To be fair, the similar move made with Facebook Messenger went very well . Messenger is now one of the most downloaded apps on any smartphone platform.

Perhaps the best feature that Facebook packs with Moments is the ability to recognize faces. Imagine going through your pictures at a wedding and trying to sort out what to share with whom. Moments promises to automatically recognize people and allow you to share your pics with them, at the touch of a button. While other apps have similar features, like Google Photos or Flickr, Facebook has one big advantage over them: it already knows your friends . Other apps don’t, so you need to teach them yourself. With its impressive coverage, Facebook promises to deliver this effortlessly from day 1. Here’s a quick overview of the app, in the video below.

Moments from Facebook on Vimeo.

Where can you get Moments ?

Moments is available for download on Android and iOS devices. It’s not yet available for Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows 10 Mobile. When you share pictures with someone who doesn’t have Moments installed, the app has a built-in feature that will send invites over Facebook Messenger for people to download it.

One awkward overlap: Twitter has an app with the same name, formerly known as Project Lightning. It does completely different things, but shares the exact same name.

Do you plan to start using Facebook Moments? Do you agree with this move on Facebook’s part? Let us know in the comments below.