Facebook developing standalone camera app with live-streaming capabilities

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Facebook’s obsession with live-streaming keeps on escalating — a report Monday says the social network is developing a standalone app that puts live-streaming at the center of users’ devices.

The app is similar to Snapchat and opens directly into a camera interface that allows users to easily snap pictures, record video or broadcast in real-time to their friends, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook’s London-based “friend-sharing” team built the app, but it is still in the early stages of development and is without a scheduled release date.

A report earlier this month showed that Facebook users are sharing fewer pieces of original content, such as personal updates or photos, and that could ultimately be a major problem for the company. In hopes of reversing that trend, Facebook over the past year appears to have embraced live-streaming, identifying the technology as a way to entice its users into sharing more original content.

Facebook launched live-streaming for iPhone and Android users earlier this year, and at its F8 conference, the company announced that it planned to allow developers to build the feature into their apps, opening live-streaming to more kinds of cameras, such as those on drones.

Live-streaming first took off when little-known startup Meerkat stole the show at SXSW 2015 with its mobile live-streaming app, making the technology one of the biggest consumer hits of 2015. Meerkat was followed soon after by Twitter, which purchased and then launched a competing app called Periscope. Seeing the popularity of those two apps, Facebook joined the party with its Live feature, which it has slowly rolled out to its 1.5 billion users.

Just after purchasing Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, Facebook released another standalone camera app simply named Facebook Camera, but the app failed to catch on and was shut down a few years later. Facebook will be hoping its live-streaming app finds more success.

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