Facebook releases Facebook Camera... with Instagram filters?

It's been about a week since Facebook released Facebook Pages Manager, and now Facebook has announced Facebook Camera -- an app dedicated to viewing and sharing photos to Facebook. The big talk on the internet, however, is that this app comes shortly after Facebook's acquisition of Instagram. This is particularly interesting because Facebook Camera allows you to add filters to your photos before uploading -- these filters are strikingly similar to Instagram's filers.

Let's take a look. Here's Facebook's Cream filter next to Instagram's Valencia filter.

And Facebook's Copper next to Instagram's Earlybird.

And Facebook's Cool next to Instagram's Hudson.

No words are even needed to describe the similarities.

So the real question becomes -- did Facebook copy Instagram before buying it, or did Facebook buy Instgram to copy it? I'm inclined to believe it's some combination of the two. There's no doubt that Facebook has been working on this app since well before it purchased Instagram, but my bet is that it was when they started working on the filters they would include with the app that they pursued an acquisition of Instagram. Although the Facebook Camera's filters are not identical to Instagram's, some of them are strikingly similar. As someone who regularly uses Instagram, I noticed the similarities instantly. In fact, before comparing them side-by-side, I thought they were exact replicas.

Which brings to my next question: will Facebook Camera ever include the exact same filters as Instagram? Is this something Facebook should even consider? Some have argued that Facebook is competing with itself by introducing Facebook Camera, which is true in many ways. But ultimately, I think even if both apps include the exact same filters, they will both be independently successful. With the risk of sounding like a snob, the quality of photos on Facebook are not generally as good as Instagram. People typically choose to use Instagram when they want to share a photo they think is particularly good or some fancy collage they created. Facebook, on the other hand, is where people share anything and everything, including random memes and photos from the internet.

What's your take on this? Did Facebook copy Instagram before buying it, or did Facebook buy Instgram to copy it? Was this even a good move by Facebook?

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Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at iosapps@imore.com

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There are 16 comments. Add yours.

tuffy100 says:

well..they ARE instagram filters! lol

tbaymyhome says:

Can you explain to me about filters please?
What happen I off filters?

deviantdj says:

Not in Canadian store yet, or it's been pulled?

jlb21 says:

In order to have Facebook Camera access your own camera roll, you have to turn on location services. WTF is that all about? I kinda like the app but I will not grant an app access to location services without a good reason why the app dev thinks it is necessary.......

Bradley says:

Generally an app will need Location access for the pictures to preserve the Geotag (Location Data) on the picture, thats all... if you're that worried, then just disable the feature.

Jack says:

This isn't them asking for location data. iOS photos have location data attached, so asking for photos permissions also gives them access to the GPS metadata. That's what iOS throws a fit about. Looking at photos technically exposes that location data. It's not asking for actually current GPS.

Bluecanary says:

Paranoid much? They can just find your location through your computer.

John says:

Richard it's on the Canadian app store I have and I'm Canadian

Matt says:

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the validity of the argument this post is assuming. Sooo Facebook bought Instagram and you are actually surprised that some of the filters look similar in the way they render? Why would that be a complete surprise to anyone? They paid a pretty hefty price to acquire them and whether or not it was to "borrow" filters or UI or whatever, that's pretty normal. This definitely should not be a murder mystery; Instagram had a crap-load of users and Facebook wanted them. What's more interesting is the outlook of these two apps, whether users will begin to slow crawl away from Instagram and use the Facebook Camera app, or will they stay loyal to the iOS/Android Instagram crowd. If you have the potential to post both to your wall on Facebook, then what is the point then of Instagram? Riight. Instagram is a mobile platform that only allows you to experience it through a phone or tablet. That's pretty limiting and doesn't really help Facebook's problem of not monetizing on ads when people are using Facebook on mobile devices.

jayms says:

Facebook will close instagram soon....

all3n7 says:

i personally really don't need this. Im good of what I have on my basic phone camera. I have a dslr so im good. have fun to you guys..

stephen007 says:

Good to know you don't need it. Noted.

DarshOne says:

+1 and here i was thinking all3n7 did need this..

johncblandii says:

Is the news slow this week? Why is it even worth pondering whether they built the filters before or after Instagram?
Is the blogosphere just looking for some drama?

jshnrz says:

too bad! its not showing the appstore philippines. *sob

Jared says:

Facebook needs to fix the main app already! Stop releasing new apps that do various things. Maybe Facebook ought to release once completely overhauled app that includes the main FB app, the pages app, the messenger app and now this, the camera app. Just FIX the main one already!!!!!