How to use Facebook Moments, a much easier way to share photos from your phone just with friends

It’s easy to post photos on Facebook, but the company also has an app where you can keep it among friends.

Moments is about six months old, and it took a long time to gain traction, but now it’s one of the top downloaded photo apps for iPhone.

Part of that is because Facebook is forcing some users to download Moments if they want to save their old synced photos. But a lot of it is just people sharing to each other so more people have to download it.

Here’s a breakdown of how to use Moments so you know how to share privately and publicly when you want to.

Facebook Moments starts by asking your permission. Instead of scanning just your existing Facebook albums, Moments pulls from the photos you store on your phone. The app combs through your camera roll and starts making groups of photos based on where they were taken and who is in them.

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The Moments home screen focuses on sending photos to your friends. At the top, Moments offers private suggestions on who you should send the photos to based on the faces they identify. If I want to share the photos with Jillian, I can swipe right to create a Moment or I can swipe left and dismiss it. (Or I can just as easily hit the skip and send buttons.)

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The easy send option is great, but I normally hit edit to make sure I'm only sending photos that I want to share. In this set of photos, I was on a business trip and Jillian only appears in one photo. Since she doesn't need to receive every photo I took during the trip, I can edit the list to only send her the ones she wants.

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When you first log in, Facebook will go pretty far back in your camera roll to identify your photos. If it doesn't automatically detect a face (like here with my dogs), then I can send to my Facebook friends via Moments. There's no option to share with a non-Facebook friends though.

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Below the send suggestions, the Moments you have shared are added. You can add titles to them, like a trip to the Jelly Bean factory, or they will stay as 'moments' between a friend and you. There's also an option to chat within each of these in case you want to ask your friend to send along some extra photos.

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With any Moment, you can click and rename it to create a mini-album. On the bottom left, you can see who is participating in the moment and sharing photos to the group. This is where Moments really shines. In this case, photos of me wine-tasting were on my friend's phone and I had photos of her on mine. Moments lets you combine them into one place first before you decide to share.

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If you have at least six photos, you turn that moment into a slideshow, complete with music and title slides.

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Of course, if you go to the trouble of creating a slideshow, you're probably going to want to share it. While most of Moments is sharing privately among friends, you do have the option of sharing the slideshows or albums to Facebook where you normally post updates.

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The Browse tab is an easy way to look at your sorted photos. I can click though photos I've taken of friends or browse based on my location. It even has smart labels, so I can see which of my photos are group shots versus selfies.

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And if your friends are slow to send you photos, you can always ask them. Once Moments identifies a friend in your photo, it moves them to the top of your friend list because it's more likely they will have photos of you too.

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