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Mobile Apps

Facebook's new Moments app corrals event photos

The app is designed to let you share photos -- privately -- from a party, wedding or other big gathering.

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Facebook app "Moments" will let you privately share photos from an event. Facebook

The days of taking one group picture with different phones may be over thanks to a new app from Facebook.

Released in the US Monday, Facebook's standalone "Moments" app will allow photos taken at an event or outing to be shared privately with friends. That is, you're not sharing them on Facebook itself.

The app groups the photos on your phone based on when they were taken and who is in them. Events can be as large as a wedding or as small as an evening out, according to a release from Facebook. You can then send photos to friends via the app or add photos to a private collaborative album.

"Moments stemmed from the need to solve a problem many people face -- the need to more easily give and get photos from friends," a Facebook spokesperson said via email.

Facebook, the world's largest social network, has been steadily expanding its portfolio of apps for mobile devices. This app comes from the Facebook Creative Labs, the team behind a handful of specific-purpose-based apps released last year, including: Groups, an app for communicating and sharing photos with groups; Slingshot, an ephemeral messaging service; and Paper, a Flipboard-like reader app. It's all part of Facebook's effort to grow its audience beyond its namesake website and mobile app.

Moments uses facial recognition -- the same tech that suggests tags on Facebook -- to group your photos based on the friends who are in them. You can then search by name to find photos of specific friends.

While only available in the United States now, on both Apple's iOS and Google's Android, Moments will be coming to other countries over time, the release stated.

"We're looking forward to offering it to more people around the world in the coming months, including in places where the face recognition technology that drives the app isn't currently available," the Facebook spokesperson said.