Moments

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Moments App Poster Image
Convenient (and creepy?) photo grouping and sharing tool.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Photos from the device's camera roll are automatically synced. Once connected to a Facebook account, sharing any or all photos is as easy as a few taps. Can also share through Instagram and Messenger.

Violence

Photos are shared privately and could contain violent content.

Sex

Photos are shared privately and could contain sexual content.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Photos are shared privately and may contain depictions of drinking, drugs, and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Moments is a Facebook product that grabs every picture on the device's camera roll, organizes it by date and location, if enabled, and makes it easy to share. The app uses facial recognition, just as Facebook does, to suggest tags for people appearing in the pictures, but users can disable their faces being suggested as tags in their own Facebook settings. Even though the tags aren't suggested, faces are still scanned by facial-recognition software, a practice that is not allowed in Europe, resulting in the app not being released there because of the future implications, storage, and potential use of that kind of information. Also concerning for teens' privacy is the ability to widely share photos.

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What's it about?

MOMENTS takes new users through a few screens of a tutorial, mostly reminders that they can control who sees their pictures, before confirming access to a Facebook account, which connects automatically if Facebook is installed on the device. From there, all existing photos on the camera roll are synced to the app and organized by the date they were taken and the people in them. Teens can further organize them by subject or category. Not every photo gets a tag suggestion. Users can choose specific photos or whole albums to share with Facebook friends. If friends don't have Moments installed, they'll get a Facebook private message of the pictures. If they do, the photos sent will sync to their Moments app, where they can be organized by date, people, or specified subject. Groupings of six photos or more will automatically generate a music video, which you can customize and share through the app, Instagram, or Messenger.

Is it any good?

While a relatively handy tool in theory, it's definitely not perfect. Though the facial-recognition feature is controversial, it's not all that new. Google's Picasa uses it, and Facebook does, too, when it suggests tags for uploaded pictures. It's certainly a feature rife with privacy issues, but it's not a reason to avoid Moments if you're already using Facebook or uploading photos to Google. Moments gives the user quite a bit of control and offers a whole lot of convenience. Teens can chose which friends to share photos with and select the specific photos they'll share. Their photos -- every single one of them on the camera roll -- will be organized by date and who's in them, and then they can be further organized by subject. During this process, the resolution is greatly reduced, so the photo quality diminishes. Also, there are privacy concerns beyond facial recognition: Facebook's terms of service gives them intellectual property rights to any photos uploaded, so syncing all the photos from the camera roll gives them a whole lot of material. Generally speaking, photo sharing is already pretty easy, so although more convenience and categorization might be very appealing to some, it also might not be worth it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their preferences for sharing pictures of their kids. If you don't want your kids' pictures (or your own) shared with the world or specific people, let your family know.

  • Parents can talk to teens about being selective about what they share with friends. Encourage kids to ask themselves if they'd want that picture shared if it were of them? 

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love photography and social networking

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