Facebook launching custom profile frames outside US
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Photo credit: Facebook's new Camera Effects

Photo credit: Facebook's new Camera Effects

While they claim there is more interest abroad, one also wonders if the feature isn’t ready for prime time. Here, we examine if custom frames could take off

At least for today, Facebook has decided to wait to “make America great again.”

Facebook announced on Thursday that it will be testing custom profile frames as part of a new camera effects platform for users’ photos in Mexico, the UK, Taiwan, Colombia, and Ireland. According to a TechCrunch interview with a Facebook spokesperson, these countries were chosen because they were places where profile frames are the most widely used.

They also said that Facebook will release the feature in the US down the line, but wouldn’t give an exact date.

At first glance, it looks a bit clunky to use. You can either download templates, which are minimal, or create your own. Realistically, design-oriented users will be early adopters until Facebook has enough hand-made templates. Another obstacle is that you have to download the template, then design it, and then upload it again to match the frame with your photo. This does not seem like a user-friendly experience.

Photo credit: Facebook

Photo credit: Facebook

Ready to compete with Snapchat?

Beyond wanting to compete with Snapchat in this regard, though, it does look like Facebook’s endgame with this feature could pay off. First, speaking of games, these custom frames are particularly popular in other countries for sporting events. Next, and more importantly, Ireland could really help launch this feature because it is the testing ground for Facebook’s new in-app camera, which is essentially a Facebook version of Snapchat. Paired with the in-app camera’s fun filters and animated selfie masks, the Irish testbed also plans to develop “location frames” that represent neighborhoods, cities, and tourist sites (among other places) for photos and videos.

Do you think custom frames will take off on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.

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Laura Rosbrow-Telem

About Laura Rosbrow-Telem


I am a social entrepreneurship enthusiast: This is what happens when a former social worker becomes a tech journalist. I mostly write about startups, technology, peace and justice issues, cultural topics, and personal stuff. Before Geektime, I was an editor at the Jerusalem Post and Mic.

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