Privately synced photos from your phone to Facebook will be deleted permanently unless you download Facebook’s dedicated photo-sharing app Moments before 7th July 2016.
In January, Facebook discontinued support for automatic syncing of photos from the main Facebook app, forcing users to install the Moments app should they wish to continue automatically uploading their photos.
Starting in 2012, the core Facebook app was able to automatically upload photos from a phone’s local camera roll to a private album on Facebook. They were kept there for storage that wouldn’t be public, but also to make it easier to later share them publicly on Facebook or not at all.
This syncing tool is similar to Google’s Photos, Yahoo’s Flickr and Apple’s iCloud Photos. That syncing tool has now been moved out of the core Facebook app and into the photo app Moments.
The Moments app lets you organize and privately share photos from your phone, and download or delete photos you’ve synced to Facebook. A major advantage of the app is that when a user shares photos with friends on Moments, the app pushes a message that tells the friend they have photos waiting to the recipient’s Notifications feed on Facebook and to their Messenger app.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has been aggressive about moving people to another of its apps. Two years ago, it removed Messenger from the core Facebook app, requiring people to download Messenger’s own app to keep using it on mobile.
By removing chat from the main Facebook app and forcing users to install the dedicated Messenger app to keep sending Facebook instant messages on smartphones, it propelled the app to more than 900 million users.