Facebook Moments was launched back in 2015 as a new way to manage pictures of you and your friends by uploading them all to the app, where the company’s facial recognition software could easily identify and let you share them with friends. Unfortunately, development of the app seems to have stopped there, and today, Facebook announced that it’ll be pulling the plug on Moments on February 25th, via CNET.
Moments was an interesting attempt for Facebook to hook more users, but the app didn’t actually link those photos up to Facebook proper, leaving it in a sort of no man’s land. Facebook employed user data for things like figuring out who your friends are or when their birthdays are, but Moments photos themselves were stuck in a weird bubble — ultimately, it ended up being easier to just share photos to Facebook or use another service like Google Photos that was actively being developed.
That said, it does seem kind of odd that Facebook — a company that seems to prioritize gathering user data above all else — is giving up on capturing people’s photos through Moments, but it’s possible that the technology here could show up in the more mainstream Facebook app down the line now that Moments is dying. According to Facebook, the reason for the shutdown is simply that not enough people were using it, but on the flip side, Facebook also never seemed to make it a priority to push people to use it (say, by adding new features, for example).
Facebook has created a tool to help users rescue their photos from Moments, either by creating a private album of the pictures on their main Facebook account, or downloading them back to a device (ironically, the reverse of what Moments was originally supposed to do). Users will have until May to download or transfer their pictures before they’re gone for good.