Facebook to Take On Instagram with New Photo Sharing App?

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Here’s some news: TechCrunch has apparently gotten their hands on Facebook’s next big project, which takes aim at iPhone photosharing apps like Instagram, Color, Path and more. From what’s being reported, the unannounced app – said to be called “Hovertown” or “WithPeople” internally – would function kind of like a “Path meets Instagram meets Color,” with a few more innovations.

(More on TIME.com: PHOTOS: A Glimpse Inside a Facebook Server Farm)

The obvious advantage that Facebook would have is its unmatched scale, as over 150 million smartphone owners have downloaded the social network’s app.

Though it appears that the photo app, at least for now, will remain separate from Facebook’s main iPhone app (which is by all accounts awful), the prospect of a sophisticated photo service eventually integrating with over 600 million other users is promising, to say the least. The news comes about a week after Twitter announced that they were building a native photo sharing experience, partnering with Photobucket.

While this spells bad news for many of the apps already saturating the photo sharing space, Darrell Etherington of Giga OM suggests that apps with more staying power – like Instagram and their 5 million users – will be able to stay afloat, thanks to their ability to build communities that users will be reluctant to dismantle right away.

Here at Techland, we get inundated with new photo sharing apps nearly every… frikkin’… day. Plenty of them do a lot of the same things, but the main problem is that moving photos from one service to another through the cloud is typically a painstaking task. Facebook’s pre-eminence as a social hub for photos puts them in prime spot on the leaderboard, barring the app actually, well, sucking.

Now, if they’d just do something about their “theater view” for photos on the web… (Which you can eliminate manually by deleting the “&theater” string at the end of your URL. Still, it’s a pain.)

More on TIME.com:

Facebook Fighting Child Pornography With Microsoft’s Help

Twitter Launches Link Shortener (And Why Third Parties Will Be OK)

Why Imgur Wants to Be the Youtube for Images