Facebook tests a feature copied from its own family member

Facebook tests a feature copied from its own family member
It's one thing to copy a feature from an app that belongs to another company, but Facebook is now thinking about copying a feature from a family member. First spotted by TechCrunch, Popular Photos is being tested on Facebook and provides users with photos from friends and family members that they can scroll to view. Popular Photos, which are curated by algorithm, appears under a photo opened from the News Feed and offers an Instagram-like experience.

For those unaware, days after Instagram finally released the Android version of its app, Facebook swooped in to buy the company for a reported $1 billion. At the time, many wondered why Facebook would pay so much for what was then essentially a photo filter app. But Zuckerberg and company got the last laugh since the transaction might have turned out to be one of the most profitable tech deals ever; estimates of Instagram's valuation today are in the neighborhood of $100 billion.

Facebook has confirmed that the test is underway and plans on doing more testing of Popular Photos in the future. Only a very small percentage of Facebook users are part of the testing process. The feature opens when a user taps on a photo in his News Food or on a profile; this creates a full-screen view of the image. While swiping and scrolling on the image usually takes the user back to his feed, those that are part of the test will see more photos along with a button that says "See More Photos." And since Popular Photos is offering a way to communicate visually, captions are capped at 65 characters; Facebook users see the date and time that a photo was posted and can "Like" the image and leave a comment.


Facebook could also monetize the feature by adding ads in between the photographs. Of course, this would depend on whether or not Facebook decides to officially rollout out Popular Photos to all mobile users. This wouldn't be the first feature that it took from its stablemate although, in the case of Stories, Instagram had already copied it from Snapchat.

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