Facebook has decided to convince people to download their Moments app by threatening to delete thousands of photos. The notice has to do with a photo syncing feature that was recently removed from Facebook’s main mobile app.
Starting in 2012, the core Facebook app was able to automatically upload photos from a phone’s local camera roll to a private album on Facebook. They were kept there for storage, but also to make it easier to later share them publicly on Facebook.
That syncing tool has now been moved out of the core Facebook app and into the photo app Moments. A few months ago, Facebook made it clear that this would happen. What Facebook was less clear about was what would happen to photos that had previously been synced.
At the time, Facebook mentioned that people would be given the chance to download their pictures in a zip file if they didn’t want to move over to Moments.
Now it’s clear that offering is because Facebook intends to completely delete synced photos if people don’t download this new app. TechCrunch spotted this email that a Facebook user received, warning them of the deletion:
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
Anyone who’s used Facebook’s auto sync feature in the past has until July 7th to download Moments or a zip file of their synced photos. Otherwise, all of your synced photos will disappear.