In 2012, Facebook introduced a nifty feature called photo sync.
During a time when most people were just beginning to take photos from their phones, but were still uploading from their computer, photo sync worked as a great way to both store photos and prep them to be shared on Facebook.
Facebook would automatically upload any photo taken on your phone to a private album on Facebook. From there, people could share the photos they wanted or delete the ones from the private album that they would never want anyone to see on Facebook at any point.
On Sunday, Facebook started sunsetting the feature since most people upload photos from their phones anyways. TechCrunch first reported that the feature was reaching the end of its life in December when the site started notifying users that it would be turned off.
“We are phasing out Facebook’s photo syncing feature,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “Photo syncing is an opt-in experience that syncs photos taken on your mobile phone to a private section on Facebook, viewable only to you, where you can view or post the photos if you choose. The feature was launched in 2012 when people took photos on their phones, but still posted primarily from computers.”
Since the sync albums will be disappearing from the social network entirely, Facebook is offering two ways to recover the images.
“People that use photo syncing will have the option to move the photos they have previously synced to our new app Moments, where they will be able to view, download, or delete them,” the spokesperson said. “If they don’t want to download Moments, they will also be able to download a zip file of their synced photos on their computer, or delete them through their Facebook profiles.”
While the photo syncing tool was always a great back-up to have for your camera roll, the Moments app, which Facebook released in June, doesn’t have the same capabilities.
Moments instead sorts the photos into groups to be shared privately. For Facebook users used to the free back-up, they will need to clear out some space on their phone for all the images, or find a new service other than Facebook or Moments to automatically sync to.
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