Facebook shutters Poke, Camera apps

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Facebook confirmed Monday that iOS apps Poke and Camera have been removed from the App Store.

Poke, launched December 2012, was thought of as a Snapchat competitor, but flopped early. Camera, which Facebook announced May 2012, had Instagram-like features. Now that Facebook owns Instagram, there’s less of a need for Camera.

A Facebook spokesperson explained to Inside Facebook why the company made the decision to pull the apps:

Since their launch in 2012, we’ve incorporated elements of each app into the Facebook for iOS and Android apps, including the photo upload flow used today. Neither app has been updated in some time and we’ve decided to officially end support by removing them from the app store.

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Facebook updates Camera app for iPhone with notifications to draw users back in

Facebook today released an update for its standalone Camera app for iPhone, which now includes the option to upload photos to albums, as well as notifications when friends Like, tag or comment on photos.

Facebook says photo albums were the app’s most requested feature. Push notifications about friend activity on a user’s photos seems to be a way to encourage users to re-engage with the app. However, users are likely already receiving notifications about this activity through the main Facebook for iPhone app, so it’s unclear if this will result in double notifications, which occasionally happens with the standalone Messenger app.

Users will see their notifications in the “News” tab from the homescreen.

Users can add photos to an existing album or create a new one by clicking the new icon that looks like an album from the photo upload screen. When users create a new album, they can title it, provide a description and location, as well as designate the privacy level. This is useful since the Camera app allows bulk uploads that users might want to organize into albums for different events.

Facebook launched Camera in May, just weeks after announcingits intent to acquire mobile photo sharing service Instagram. Instagram has 45 times as many downloads as Camera, according to the Office of Fair Trading, which investigated the deal.

Last week, the social network launched a faster version of its Facebook for iPhone and iPad apps, and updated Facebook for Android and iOS Messenger.

U.S. iPhone users can download the updated Camera app here. The app is not yet available worldwide.

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