Facebook is giving the camera a central place on its smartphone app, encouraging users to take more pictures and edit them with digital stickers, just like rival Snapchat. Fred Katayama reports.
Facebook app users can now spit fire in their videos and stick flower hats on their pictures. The app's new camera tool launched Tuesday turns on with one swipe of a finger, and users can add pictures to a gallery called a "story," and share them privately. It looks a lot like Snapchat, which shares tanked on Facebook's announcement of the new tool. But Facebook denies it took its camera ideas from Snapchat. It says it got them from its own users. It also teamed up with six movie studios and two artists to create original visual effects. David Ingram covers the story for Reuters. (SOUNDBITE) DAVID INGRAM, REPORTER, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "So, Facebook wants us to spend all of our free time to actually, the time throughout our day posting things on Facebook. And Snapchat wants the same thing as well. So, their goal is for you to be posting things continuously, reading what your friends are posing, sharing things, and engaging with content to use their face, and they have been building mechanisms for you to keep doing it all day, every day." Snapchat popularized sharing of digitally decorated photos on social media, especially among teenagers, and exposed a weakness of Facebook as the companies battle for users.