Facebook announced that it will soon discontinue its photo syncing support, and instead, will require users to back up their images by downloading the separate Moments app.

The photo syncing feature, which launched in 2012, allows users to automatically sync photos from the user's phone to a separate Facebook album where they can view and later edit and share them if they wish. The feature required users to opt in to take advantage of backing up their photos.

Now, Facebook is getting rid of this in an attempt to get more people using the Moments app. Moments, which was released this June, allows users to store and share photos and albums privately with select friends. This means that friends can view all photos surrounding a particular event, like a child's birthday party, including the ones they didn't take. Users can now download the images they wish to share on Facebook.

When a photo is shared using the app, a message appears as a notification on Facebook as well as the Messenger app. However, this also means the user must also have the Messenger app downloaded as well.

The social network revealed its plans to kill off photo syncing via a notification that said the feature is moving to Moments on Jan. 10. Those who previously had the photo syncing feature enabled received the notification that takes users to the page about the big move.

"On Jan. 10, your backed-up photos will move to Moments, and photo syncing on Facebook will end. Moments is a new app from Facebook that lets you organize and privately share photos," the page reads.

The users who move to Moments will have access to the photos they previously synced to Facebook, so they don't have to worry about losing their backed-up images. Those who don't move to Moments can download a zip file of their images to their computer.

While this is a big change for users, Facebook previously did the same when Messenger became its own standalone app last year. The app then went on to become one of the top free apps in the App Store.

Moments is available to download for iOS and Android for free.

Source: TechCrunch

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