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Facebook is shutting down its Moments photo app because nobody knew it existed

Facebook Moments is shutting down. Did you not realize there was such a thing as Facebook Moments? Don’t worry, that’s why the app is shutting down. Moments, an app that uses Facebook’s facial recognition to share images with friends, will be shutting down on February 25. The social media company began notifying users via email on Thursday, January 24 and updated the app for easier exporting.

Facebook says that the Moments app is shutting down partially because few users were actually using it. Launched in 2015, Moments uses Facebook’s facial recognition technology to sort through your camera roll. If you have any photos of your Facebook friends, the app sends a notification suggesting you share those images with the people in the photos. 

The app also served as a way to save photos to keep them from hogging space on your device. That means users still using the Moments app will need to download images to avoid losing photos. Moments users can go to Facebook’s dedicated website to export images that they want saved to their computer hard drive or device camera roll. Another option is to use the Moments app to share those images to Facebook — an album that can be set to “only me” to avoid sharing the backlog of photos on the news feed. The website to download old Moments photos will be available until May.

While similar apps like Google Photos designed to store and save images privately have been a success, Moments will go down in history as one of Facebook’s off-shoot apps that never took off. Once users shared a photo with friends, the app would notify the others in the photo but prompt them to download the Moments app to see the image. At the launch, Facebook called it “a much more private kind of sharing with specific friends.”

Facebook’s side apps sometimes wind up being features inside the main app. For publicly shared photos, Facebook automatically tags friends in the photos. With recent bugs like the one that saved unshared videos to users downloadable Facebook data, it’s easy to see why users may not trust the platform with storing private photos.

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