Facebook has a problem: your friends list has grown so broad that sharing a photo or status with all of them probably doesn't make much sense. People still do it out of habit, and because there aren't many clear-cut ways to share with just your family or just your close friends. But according to a new report, Facebook is building a standalone app to help you do exactly this.
TechCrunch reports that Facebook is building a new app codenamed "Moments" that lets you share with smaller groups of people. The report says that the app most resembles Cluster (pictured below), a social networking app that lets you create "spaces" for each of your family and friend groups, and then share photos or texts with them. Cluster, notably, is a network of its own, while Moments, reportedly, shares content back to Facebook.
Cluster lets you share with smaller groups
This is actually a great idea on Facebook's part; we don't need one more network to manage, we need a better way to quickly share something with our family, and then have them understand that we've shared it with only them when it pops up in their news feed. Currently, if you post something on Facebook and share it with only a few people, it will indeed show up in their feeds, but it's not obvious that the post has been shared with a smaller than usual audience. Thus, the message changes, and these people think you've shared a photo with everyone, and not just them.
Facebook's two-sided problem is a tough one. The company has come out with various features to address both issues — first, sharing to smaller audiences, and second, having those audiences know when they've been shared with — but none of them have seemingly achieved wide adoption. Facebook's first solution is two-pronged. You can either share with a custom "List" you've created, or pick people one-by-one to share with when you create a post. The second solution involves a tiny icon in your feed that indicates something has been shared with a small group including you, but isn't obvious enough. Moments could seemingly solve for both of these issues in a more intuitive fashion.
Facebook recently updated its audience selector to make it more obvious who you're sharing with
The app reportedly lets you tap on a group of friends you've created to share with them. This is easier than creating Lists, which still has a terrible interface, and is also easier than tapping the names of your family members in an ordinary Facebook post. Moments would share directly back to Facebook, but when the people you've shared with see a Moment in their feed, it would be called out, and not just fly by like any other post.
We don't need one more network to manage, we need better ways to share
Moments could even send you a push notification when a friend has shared something with you specifically. In this case, the signal behind any post would be extremely high, whereas today a quick browse through the news feed might yield a dozen wedding photos from someone you haven't seen in a decade. Signal is important. Signal is addictive. Signal is one of the reasons Snapchat hasn't created a "select all" button. To do so would be to create the Facebook feed problem all over again.
The original appeal to Facebook was that what you share becomes valuable when it's shared with a small, tight-knit community. The plot worked. 1.32 billion people joined the site, which is still growing like gangbusters in many countries. But, for all the early Facebook users who have now accumulated more friends than they can count, Moments could provide some salvation — if Facebook ever launches the app.