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Facebook allegedly developing camera-based app to spur userbase into more content uploads

Facebook is quietly developing an independent camera app, hoping to kick people out of the passive approach to using the social network many people have fallen into, a report said on Monday.

An early version of the app, built by a team in London, is said to open directly to a camera view much like Snapchat, sources informed the Wall Street Journal. The state of the project is such that it might not generate a finished product.

Regardless, the effort is said to be motivated by the growing tendency of people to check Facebook regularly but not submit any content of their own. This is origin of several features in the flagship Facebook app, such as "On This Day," or writing prompts based on holidays or pop culture events, like the Game of Thrones season premiere. Officially a Facebook spokeswoman denied any downward trends, refusing to comment on future products either.

In theory Facebook's Instagram might serve a similar purpose, but the new app is said to be less artistically-minded, with a smaller number of steps between shooting a photo or video and uploading it. The Journal's sources suggested, in fact, that people using the app might be able to share to both Facebook and Instagram.

In past months Facebook has retreated somewhat from a multi-app strategy. While it does have Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Moments, in December it shut down its experimental Creative Labs division, and pulled three apps from Apple and Google's app stores.