Facebook Camera App Won't Replace Instagram

Facebook has recently purchased the popular photo app, Instagram for $1 billion. (AP Photo)

Did Facebook buy Instagram to prevent a serious patent infringement suit?

Just a month after announcing its intent to buy the social photo site for a cool billion bucks, Facebook today launched a new application for iPhones (3GS and forward) and the iPod Touch called Facebook Camera that performs many of the same functions in similar fashion.

This dedicated app offers Facebook users a feed focusing solely on pictures. It lets you upload or download a bunch of images at a time, super fast, and at much higher resolution than the conventional Facebook app allowed. You can then scroll down a single feed to see all your friends' photos, even if they're coming from different apps.

Facebook Camera also invites you to add captions (including current location), tag friends, crop and straighten photos and apply 15 different filters to make an image golden hued, neon bright or sensuously creamy. The filters "are stylistic in nature, they are not just enhancement," said Facebook product manager for photos Dirk Stoop.

Facebook Camera is aimed at a different audience than Instagram and the two will co-exist peacefully, claims Facebook spokesman Derick Mains. While Instagram has 40 million users, Facebook has 900 million. "People love to share and view photos on Facebook, so giving people a great photo experience has been a really big priority for us," said Mains.

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