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Facebook's Moments App Takes the Work Out of Photo Sharing

Facebook wants to make sure you never miss a photo featuring you and your friends ever again. The social network today (June 15) announced a new app called Moments that uses its powerful face-detection engine to let you privately share pictures with your friends. The new standalone app is available right now in the US on iOS and Android for free.

We've all been there. You go on a vacation or gather for a reunion, and someone takes a group shot that you never get to see again because the person who took the photo forgets to send it to you. Moments detects the faces in your pictures and lets you choose to privately sync them with people who are in the shots. It's like the tagging system when you upload a photo to Facebook, except this lets you share photos privately without having to post them to your timeline.

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Facebook's approach with Moments also reduces the need to hand a photographer multitudes of phones or cameras to take a picture of because everyone wants their own copy of the image.

None of this technology is new, really. Previous apps, such as ThisLife (now owned by Shutterfly) and Cluster, have made organizing and privately sharing your pictures easier, and some of them solve the same issue of not getting pictures from friends attending the same event. But Facebook's Moments leverages the social network's own powerful face-detection technology, and presumably taps into your existing network of Facebook friends to identify individuals and share images, so you don't have to start tagging your friends all over again from scratch.

I'm looking forward to finally getting the photos my friends owe me from our New Year's Eve party and the ones from when my friend came to visit in New York. Hopefully, it will just be a matter of Moments now.

When staff writer Cherlynn Low's not writing about wearables, cameras and smartphones, she's devouring old episodes of Torchwood or The X-Files. Or taking selfies. Follow Cherlynn @cherlynnlow . Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.