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Facebook To Release New Live Streaming App

Facebook is set to release a standalone app that lets consumers and business to live stream content and share images.

The concept that is in its early stages could be used by retailers and brands to launch products across more than 1.6 Billion Facebook friends.

A prototype of the app developed by Facebook’s “friend-sharing” team in London is already being shown to interested parties claims the Wall Street Journal.

Another planned feature allows a user recording video through the app to begin live streaming, they added.

Technology-news website The Information reported earlier this month that “original broadcast sharing” on Facebook was down 21% as of mid-2015, compared with the prior year. In the first quarter of 2016, 33% of Facebook users polled by market researcher GlobalWebIndex said they updated their profile status in the past month and 37% said they uploaded or shared their own photos. A year ago, 44% said they updated their profile status in the prior month and 46% said they uploaded or shared their photos.

Many users check Facebook daily or even multiple times a day, but fewer are sharing photos, videos and status updates about their own lives.

By comparison, Facebook’s flagship mobile app opens to a personalized feed of articles, status updates and ads that encourages users to consume content, but not necessarily create it.

The approach also differs from Facebook’s Instagram image-sharing network, which has gained a reputation as a place to post only the best, most well-photographed images.

Instagram forces users to go through several steps before posting a picture, including filters. This isn’t the first time Facebook has built an app to encourage sharing.

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The 17-camera “Facebook Surround 360” has been unveiled at its developer conference in San Francisco, with the design and stitching code available for free on Github shortly.

The WSJ said that in June 2014, it launched Slingshot, a Snapchat-like app that let users trade photos and videos that disappeared after 24 hours. It earlier launched a photo-editing and -sharing app called Camera. Neither gained much traction among users and both were later dropped. The new app would have slightly different features, such as the live-streaming “mode.”

The decline in sharing on Facebook has emerged as a problem in the past year.

People familiar with the matter said the camera app under consideration is also intended to spur creation. The content could then be shared to Facebook or its other properties, including Instagram.

But any new app will face a challenge among users increasingly reluctant to download more apps. Facebook itself made this argument earlier this month for “chatbots” within its Messenger mobile app.