Facebook Moments, the social network’s recently launched photo-sharing app that aims to address the problem of getting friends to send each other the photos they’ve been hoarding on their own phones, is expanding to video. The app received its first major update today since its mid-June debut, and will now automatically create a video of your shared photos which you can customize, personalize and share back to Facebook.
The added feature, will somewhat of a minor addition, could make the app more compelling for those who didn’t yet see the value in the photo-syncing option it previously offered. As Facebook Moment’s early adopters begin to share out their video creations to Facebook for others to see, their friends may be more inspired to try out the app for themselves.
With the update, Facebook Moments will automatically create a music video for any grouping of six or more photos. You can then tap this video in the app to customize it further by changing the included photos and selecting from about a dozen different background music options. When you’re finished making your optional edits to this video, one more tap will share the video directly to Facebook and tag the friend or friends with whom you’re already sharing those photos.
The option to automatically create a video from your shared photos also makes Facebook Moments competitive with similar services like Flipagram, or those automatically created animations that Google Photos provides through its “Assistant” feature, which also helpfully builds out stories and collages.[gallery ids="1200318,1200319,1200320"]
These sorts of automated options aren’t just fun diversions for consumers – they’re also practical tools that help people do more with our ever-growing pile of photos that are being snapped and stored thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones.
Facebook also benefits from making video-sharing easier for its users: Video has become one of the fastest-growing categories on the social network, with over 4 billion daily video views. This has allowed it to sell a wider range of video ads, which is why the network has been doubling down on video as of late with new features like improved video analytics, live streaming, “Watch Later” buttons, and changes to its News Feed to highlight the best videos.
It’s the latest app to emerge from Facebook’s Creative Labs initiative, which is also responsible for apps like Facebook Groups, Slingshot, Facebook Paper, Rooms, Mentions, and more. Some of Creative Labs’ efforts to date have fallen flat, but Moments may have potential. Anecdotally, I know it’s having some impact on Facebook users’ collective consciousness when I find that several of my non-tech friends have already installed it or are saying that they’ve been noticing that Facebook notifications about shared photos in Moments are becoming a more regular occurrence for them.
App Annie’s actual data, however, shows the app is maintaining a decent, if not stellar, ranking in the Photo & Video category on the iTunes App Store (No. 107 currently). That’s a fairly competitive category though, it’s worth noting. The app is doing better on Google Play, where it’s No. 19 in the Photography category at present. But, on both stores, its Overall ranking has declined since its launch which could be troublesome.
That being said, while Moments may still be benefitting from its launch press and related momentum, the app is doing better than Facebook’s Creative Labs other efforts like Rooms and Slingshot, which no longer have a tracked rank on App Annie’s charts – meaning they’ve dropped below #1,500 in any category.
Moments is actually smartly solving one of the age-old challenges smartphone users have faced – you want to get a copy of photos your friend took, but they forget to send them. You then have to bug them to text you, email you, or AirDrop the photos the next time you see them. Facebook Moments makes it much easier, as it instead allows you to privately sync photos from your phone to others, and it uses a combination of date and time stamps, location as well facial recognition to group photos into collections you can share.
The only thing it’s missing is an ability to share those photos with non-Facebook users like grandma and grandpa (i.e. via email), though this is a minor complaint.
The updated version of Facebook Moments with the video sharing feature is live now on the App Store, and will hit Google Play today. The app is also now available in most countries, says Facebook, and has been translated into 34 different languages.