When you're the largest social networking site on the planet, you get to call the shots, good or bad. To that end, Facebook is wielding its power to strong-arm users into installing its standalone photo sharing app called Moments -- a free download available on Google Play and iTunes -- or you can kiss your previously synced photos goodbye.
That's one way to propel your app to the top spot in the App Store, as Moments currently sits. And it will probably stay there at least for a couple of weeks. Facebook is warning users that they have until July 7, 2016, to either move their synced photos to Moments or download their synced albums. Once the deadline passes, Facebook will delete albums containing synced photos.
dang i didnt even know facebook privately synced TWELVE THOUSAND of my photos now they tryna delete them wow pic.twitter.com/Ii1fupbHQ7— a.m. ☆.。.:* (@aurevoiralexis) June 9, 2016
Facebook's photo syncing feature was introduced to iOS users back in 2012. It let mobile users automatically upload photos from their smartphones and tablets to a private album on Facebook, ultimately making it easier to share memories caught on camera. For some, it also served as a cloud backup of sorts.
To be clear, it's just the synced photos part of that service that Facebook is deleting on July 7. All of the photos that you manually uploaded to Facebook and shared with the world (or just your friends and family) aren't going anywhere. Nevertheless, this will likely cause confusion, so don't be surprised to see some panicked posts by you Facebook friends in the coming days and weeks.
You might also see some miffed post that Facebook is pushing yet another standalone app so aggressively (the other being Messenger).
In any event, you can download Moments from Google Play here and iTunes here.