Seems everyone these days is coming out with a photo syncing app to help you organize that holy mess you call a camera roll. Some (like Google, Flickr and Bundle) are doing it better than others. A new arrival to that category is a Facebook app called Moments. We know what you’re thinking: not another Facebook app! We thought the same. And then we tested it out. Here’s what we found.
Moments grabs up all of the photos in your smartphone and automatically groups them by when and where they were taken, and by who appears in them. The latter is made possible by that all-scary and constantly impressive facial recognition technology that has been helping shape a more Orwellian reality for us all. Using facial recognition, the app suggests individuals you may want to share your photos with. If there’s someone in a photo that has been inaccurately tagged (as happens), you can remove the tag and add the correct person from your Facebook friends list.
Mobile sharing is accomplished via yet another Facebook app you’ll need to have: Messenger. (Queue collective groan.) You can also disregard the app’s advice and share with anyone you want. If your intended recipient has Moments installed, they’ll receive notification via the app. If they don’t have it installed, they’ll receive a Facebook message instructing them to download Moments in order to get access to the images. Your recipients can then download all or some of the photos to their smartphones.
For the security minded, there’s this. Before you even sign in to the app, you’re greeted with a message that reads, “This is a private space. Moments will not post your photos on Facebook.” Additional security comes in the form of an approval code that’s sent to your phone via SMS before you can complete registration. The good news is that installing Moments won’t automatically make your photographs public. Not even the ones you share – or “sync” – to friends. You can also unsync photos you may have inadvertently shared, or delete entire groups if you’d rather have them gone.
Typing a person’s name in the app search box pulls up all pics that facial recognition has tagged them in. Unfortunately, search is only good for keying in names and can’t be used to look up specific dates or locations. Individual pics can be “liked” which essentially earmarks them and adds them to the “photos you like” category. You can also add comments to pictures, which is sort of the now equivalent of what prehistoric humans used to do in the 20th century when they scribbled names, dates and relevant information on the backs of developed photographs. If you’d rather use more conventional methods of sharing, the app also gives you the option to forward individual shots via email, messenger and any other sharing-compatible app on your smartphone.
Aside from all the ease and functionality, we did find a couple of areas that weren’t all that cool. Like the fact that even though photos aren’t automatically published to your news feed, they do reside on Facebook’s servers. There’s also the inability to edit photos. Moments doesn’t even let you crop images, let alone add frames or filters or cutesy stickers (as if you really wanted that… but still). Another drawback is that Moments compresses images to enable quicker sharing, thus stripping down the quality of high-resolution shots.
If you’re not big on high-res and all you want is a simple way to share pics with pals, Facebook Moments may be the app for you. Check it out and see what you think. You can snatch it up for free right now on Google Play and iTunes.