Well I don't think many people saw this coming. You'd think with Facebook buying Instagram they would make the app have better Facebook integration or change it to suits Facebook's style, but they've created a whole new app which in some ways is better than Instagram but is also worse.
It's a dedicated camera app (iOS only at the moment) which lets you browse your friends pictures and lets you upload pictures, add filters and crop them. You can edit and share multiple photos at once and add tags right in the app. It's pretty basic, one of the most basic camera apps actually which can be a good thing.
The UI of the app I find absolutely fantastic, the animations, colour and minimalism is great and actually flows amazingly well. But the filters and editing functions are crap compared to Instagram, they're also quite limited.
I can understand why Facebook has made a completely separate app instead of upgrading Instagram to implement more Facebook like features:
- With the use of apps becoming more and more prominent on Facebook, when someone uploads a picture through the app it will show something like "Uploaded with Facebook Camera" with a link to the app. This will inevitably drive a massive amount of downloads.
- On average most of us will have a lot more friends and followers on Facebook than Instagram so the engagement rate is a lot higher. We as humans love attention so the more people we can show off to, the better.
- Pictures have a lot higher resolution of 960x960 on 3G and 2048x2048 on WiFi. Instagram uses 512x512.
- You can control the privacy. On Facebook you can send the picture to a friend, all friends, group of friends or the public. On Instagram they're public regardless.
- Many people still don't know what Instagram actually is. Facebook has recognised this and is taking advantage of it by creating a new app which is "by Facebook".
I think also Facebook wants to keep Instagram a whole separate business for now so that the users of the app can continue enjoying what it is right now. Because usually when a company acquires a product or service, they ruin it. Twitter did this with Tweetdeck.
Note: It still might not be available to everyone around the world.