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Facebook Testing New App 'Moments'

Sharing To Get Easier And More Private

One of the criticisms lobbied most consistently against Facebook is the complicated nature of its privacy settings. No matter how many tweaks the site’s algorithm goes through, choosing who can see what you upload is frustratingly difficult. It’s nigh-on impossible to select only those on your friends list who’d appreciate that link to TheFappening your uni mates should see – it’s why my auntie won’t look me in the eye anymore.

Fortunately, a new standalone app from Facebook HQ might be about to fix that. Codenamed ‘Moments’, the app has been described in some detail in an article on TechCrunch. Apparently, the app features a series of tiles aligned in a grid. Each square on the grid represents a different set of friends or family, so when you click it will only share whatever you post with that set of people. Naturally, this process will be much faster than fiddling with your privacy settings on a post-by-post basis.

Chances are, we’ve all experienced the horrific embarrassment of friends and family colliding over Facebook. While your friends know all the sordid little details of your time at uni (I even spoke to a girl one time. Don't tell my mum), your parents remember when you cried at an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine because you found the Fat Controller scary. The two parties should never mix, and the fear of it happening is currently a genuine reason to avoid sharing content on Facebook.

Unfortunately, we’re yet to see even the blurriest of screenshots of the app which might fix all that. In fact, apart from the description of its grid-based interface, we know pretty much nothing. All we do know is that it exists, and Facebook’s people are currently squishing its bugs. We're also told its design closely resembles Cluster, a third-party app which does pretty much the same thing.
While it could be argued that those interested in the app could just switch to private messaging, some may find the chaos of a multi-user IM chat more trouble than it’s worth. Furthermore, the design of public Facebook is infinitely more pleasing than the design of its instant chats, with users able to like, share and respond to individual comments. In this sense, Moments may divide Facebook itself into dozens of little subforums, each featuring different groups of the people in your life.

While Facebook has a chequered past of app creation (I will personally give you £20 for every friend you have who uses Slingshot instead of Snapchat), they’ll hope that Moments will have sticking power. Facebook's failed attempts at app creation tried to steal market share from pre-existing, well-established apps, but Moments instead places a plaster over a problem they have with their own site.

The main Facebook app deals in content. Moments will worry about audience.


Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

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Facebook Testing New App 'Moments' Reviewed by Emile Cole on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Rating: 5
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