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Facebook Rivals Snapchat, Creates Standalone Camera

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Facebook is planning a standalone camera app, similar to disappearing photo app on Snapchat, to encourage its 1.6 billion users to create, and share, more photos and videos.

The app, which is still in the early stages of development, will reportedly integrate with Instagram and other Facebook-owned apps, and it will also support live streaming as well as stills and video, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The app is being developed by Facebook’s ‘friend-sharing’ team in London.

A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment on product plans. The spokeswoman said the overall level of sharing on Facebook was strong and “similar to levels in prior years.” The people familiar with the matter said the camera-first format is aimed at motivating users to create photos and videos.

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The social-media platform has been concentrating on its video platforms in the recent past, the company brought video search to its platform, and also started showing Live videos in Trending topics. Facebook’s mobile app now features a video search engine in the Live video section, where users can search for both Live videos and other videos via keywords.

Photo sharing on Facebook has declined over the last year or so. Around 37% of users shared photos on the network in the third quarter of 2015, according to market research firm GlobalWebIndex, down from 59% a year earlier.

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Facebook has already been making other changes to re-engage users. It recently rolled-out a new app that reminds users about holidays and significant dates. It also launched the memory-triggering feature “On This Day.” In 2014, the company even toyed with a disappearing-picture app like Snapchat called Slingshot, but the feature never gained a following.