This article was published on August 25, 2015

Facebook updates photo sharing app Moments with movies, new languages

Facebook updates photo sharing app Moments with movies, new languages

Facebook is jockeying to get a position in assisting your camera roll, and the first major update to its photo-sharing app Moments for iOS has new bells and whistles to entice users old and new.

The gist of Moments, which launched in June, is that it relies on Facebook’s facial recognition technology to find your friends and tag them automatically when you take photos. Then, you can share them with friends privately, or post to Facebook and Instagram.

With the app’s latest update, Facebook now turns photo sets of six or more into “movies” — slideshows that can be shared to Facebook. Once the photos (which Moments curates for quality) have been put together, users can edit the video and add background music.

If you’ve ever spent time on your Facebook timeline, you may have seen similar slideshow-based videos from services like Flipagram. It’s also not dissimilar from the “Assistant” video service offered by Google Photos, although that one does have more special effects.

In addition to providing movies, Moments also got some minor housekeeping tweaks: Users can now create their own Moments from scratch and see the progress of their photo uploads.

Moments also received translation into 34 languages, and press copy indicates that Moments is now available “in most countries”. Which is particularly interesting since it remains unavailable in Europe.

With assistance of my international colleagues stationed in Europe, many of them could not download Moments from the App Store (the glaring omission seems to be England). However, those who could download it saw this message:

Slack for iOS Upload.png

Facebook has received pushback from regulators it works with in European countries, who want Moments to be an opt-in service to protect privacy.

That app language indicates that Facebook might be inching its way closer to a Moments launch in at least some parts of Europe. Whether that will be with an opt-in feature or just the product of some smooth diplomacy remains to be seen.

Facebook Moments [iOS]