A few weeks ago, Facebook announced that it was purchasing mega-popular mobile photo-sharing app Instagram for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 billion (Dr. Evil voice). Now that they own the best mobile phot0-sharing app in the world, what's the next move? Duh - they release Facebook Camera for iPhone - their own mobile photo-sharing app that is wildly similar to Instagram, just not nearly as good.

Facebook Camera for iPhone is an app that is strictly dedicated to taking pics, applying filters, and batch uploading photos to your Timeline on Facebook. You may be asking yourself, "why would Facebook spend a billion on Instagram, then release a copycat app that falls way short of the original?"

Even though it seems kind of strange, this kind of thing actually happens a lot. Facebook's team has been working on this app for months and word on street is that Mark Zuckerberg's purchase of Instagram was almost an impulse-buy. By the looks of the new Facebook Camera app, if Facebook would have never bought Instagram they wouldn't be much of a competitor anyway being that their new app lacks certain key features - like the hashtagged sharing, not to mention the filters don't even come close to comparing to Instagram's magical swagger.

How does it work?

When you open Facebook Camera, it detects any Facebook accounts you've associated with your iPhone. Once you're in, you're presented with a user interface that looks nothing like Facebook for iPhone and is a whole lot faster, too. The top left corner is permanently reserved for a camera button, which is flanked by a few small photo squares that represent the most recent photos in your Camera Roll. Below these pictures is a News Feed composed only of photos friends have uploaded. Swipe down on the News Feed to view the rest of your camera roll, from where you can tap checkmarks to select up to 30 photos to upload simultaneously. Tap a photo to view it full screen, crop, rotate, tag, and apply one of fifteen filters to your photo. A blue "compose" icon in the bottom right corner launches a screen where you can caption, tag, and post the photos you've chosen.

[via The Verge]

Facebook says this isn't an attempt to 'compete' with Instagram more than it being a way to enhance the Facebook photos experience on mobile and step up their game. This is the latest in separate Facebook mobile standalone apps including Facebook Messenger and the new Facebook Pages app, which is dedicated to managing Pages. Facebook says they're still committed to building Instagram independently, which is a good thing, because Facebook Camera for iPhone doesn't cut the mustard for me.

But maybe you'll dig it. Check it out and see which one you would rather use, then comment below!

Facebook Camera App for iOS