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Facebook building photo-sharing app to rule them all, report says

Facebook looks set to take on some of the net’s hottest photo sharing services including Instagram, Path and the ridiculously well-funded Color with a new iPhone app, according to a report from Techcrunch.

Techcrunch says it’s gotten hold of 50Mb worth of screenshots and documentation about an upcoming app from Facebook and that it looks “awesome.”

The move isn’t unsurprising since Facebook has become the net’s largest photo sharing site by making it simple for users to upload photos and share them so that friends and family members can comment on them.

But early adopters — some 5 million of them — have embraced Instagram, which lets you take a picture, geo-tag it, enhance it with filter, and share it with followers on the social network as well as a number of third-party services (including Facebook) in seconds.

That popularity may be of concern to Facebook as it seeks to keep as much “social” activity as it can on its own network.

It’s not clear from the few details TechCrunch published Wednesday whether the new app seeks to copy features from Instagram/Path/Color or whether it re-imagines mobile photo sharing.

WIRED: Flickr hooks up with Facebook for photo sharing love

But either way, it’s way too soon to declare the death of any niche app. Facebook has taken on other hot services, such as FourSquare and Quora, with its own versions — Places and Questions, respectively — and neither of those companies died an early death.

That said, it’s got to be scary to be a small but growing service and see screenshots of a competing service offered by a site with a user base closing in on a billion users.

Facebook did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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