What you need to know
- A report shows Facebook is testing a photos-only mode within its app.
- 'Popular photos' uses an algorithm to generate a photos-only feed for users.
- It could offer users an Instagram-esque escape from Facebook's regular content.
A report this week suggests that Facebook is quietly testing a photos-only mode for its mobile app, that would allow users to see algorithmically suggested photos in a feed similar to Instagram.
According to a TechCrunch report, the 'Popular Photos' feature generates an endless feed of photos from your friends in a full-screen view, generating a user experience that feels a lot like Instagram. Very simply, the feature allows users who tap on a photo in their News Feed or on a profile to begin scrolling through more images as a feed, much like 'Related Videos.'
The report suggests:
A Facebook spokesperson has reportedly confirmed that it had indeed been testing the feature in October, around the time TechCrunch spotted it. The trial has since concluded, and the feature is being worked on with future tests in mind. It declined to disclose any more details about the motivation behind the feature. But it seems reasonable to suggest that Facebook is perhaps looking to build on the successful model of Instagram, which it of course owns. As TechCrunch suggests, it may well be that Facebook is trying to offer its users some form of relief from the swathe of written content on its site, much of which has become saturated with political opinions, making it frankly exhausting to look at. There is no confirmed timescale as to when Facebook may resume testing of the feature.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
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