In Facebook launches 'Camera' photo app, a CNN article published last Friday, John D. Sutter announces that Facebook launched a photo-sharing app called Facebook Camera last Thursday, which "aims to make it simpler for the social network's users to upload and browse photos on smartphones." Interestingly enough, the release came only weeks after Facebook spent $1 billion to reserve the rights of a similar photo-sharing application called Instagram.
Just like with Instagram, users will be able to view and upload a feed of photos from and for those in their Facebook social circles. One can swipe to see more of any album or tap a photo to increase its resolution. For someone like me who enjoys photo updates on my Facebook homepage more than any other kind of update, this application may come in handy.
This could prove to be useful for citizen journalism in a sense. For example, people will be able to post pictures of themselves at the site of a news scene, or detailed images of the same scenes. Since Facebook boasts about 900 million users(rougly 800 million more than Instagram users), it will be interesting to see how this application furthers the possibility of regular citizens playing an active role in processes of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information. On the other hand however, it might prove to be the beginning of the end for particular individual rights that come with citizen journalism. Facebook is essentially monopolizing the online social media hemisphere, while it continues to own more and more of the information that its users are uploading/sharing, personal photographs being more vulnerable to corporate ownership this time around.