Facebook Launches Standalone Camera App; Whither Flickr, Google+ & Pinterest?

facebook-cameraLater today, Facebook Camera will be available as a standalone app for the iPhone. That’s probably great news for a lot of Facebook users, but on a bigger scale, Google+ and Flickr probably have good reason to be worried.

As shown in Facebook’s announcement, the new Camera app will allow both photo sharing and consumption. Users can publish multiple photos at once, rather than posting one photo at a time. They can tag friends, add a location and/or include a description. There’s also a few photo editing tools — cropping, rotating and so forth. Or, they can use the app to browse through and interact with their friends’ photos.

The app isn’t available as I type this, but here are a couple screenshots from Facebook’s announcement:

facebook-camera-example

facebook-camera-example-2

Some time ago, Facebook became the biggest photo sharing site on the web. If Facebook users are willing to use two separate apps — this, and the main Facebook iPhone/mobile app — Facebook’s grip on social photos should only increase. And don’t forget, too, that even while developing its own Camera app, Facebook also spent a hefty one billion dollars for Instagram.

Photos: The New Social Network Battleground

It’s clear that photo sharing is a big battle ground among social networks right now. Just this week, Google+ hosted a two-day conference for photographers — they’ve been one of Google+’s most ardent group of early adopters. At the event, Google’s Bradley Horowitz declared that “photos are the lifeblood of our service.” Indeed, Google’s first major overhaul of its iPhone app put a huge focus on photos earlier this month.

Flickr is also trying to capture — or hold on to, depending on your perspective — photo lovers’ attention with a couple recent improvements such as support for larger images and a new, faster photo uploader. The company has also changed some of its photo gallery pages with a more Pinterest-like look. Just this morning, in fact, Flickr announced several Group-related upgrades.

And speaking of Pinterest, it’s grown like gangbusters over the past 6-9 months and is flush with a new pile of cash. I’m betting they’ll soon announce significant upgrades to the mobile/app experience to encourage more pinning of original photos.

Who wins? Facebook has the lead right now, and between its Instagram purchase and today’s launch of its own Camera app, it’s clear the company isn’t taking its foot off the pedal.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Facebook: Apps & App Center | Facebook: Mobile | Google: Google+ | Pinterest | Top News | Yahoo: Flickr

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://www.esocialmedia.com Jerry Nordstrom

    Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable with giving Facebook or Google the ability to monitor, tag and otherwise monetize my photos? Perhaps, I’m old school, but I would much rather upload them to a “non-social” account and then distribute as I wish.

  • Matt McGee

    I’m sure you’re not the only one, Jerry. :-) But clearly a lot of users like the wide open sharing on certain sites.

    BTW, when you upload pics to Facebook, you can limit who sees them and who can tag them, etc. Ditto with Flickr.

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