Facebook has begun notifying users who upload photos from their iOS devices that their synced albums will be deleted next month (via TechCrunch).
Facebook's iOS photo syncing feature was launched in 2012, and let users automatically upload all photos on their mobile devices to a private album called 'Synced' or 'Synced from Phone'.
The idea behind the feature was that copying the photos makes it easier to find and share pictures with friends on the social network.
Users are now being informed by email and via app notifications that these albums will cease to exist on July 7, and that they should either download the albums, or install the company's photo-centric Moments app to retain their uploaded status.
News of the change has seen the Moments app shoot up the App Store's Top Free Apps chart, where it currently ranks #2 ahead of Facebook's hugely popular Messenger app, which sits at #3.
The forced adoption of yet another Facebook app has caused consternation among a number of social media account holders, who were subject to a similar heavy-handed approach in early 2014.
— Ray Ulrich (@ulrichray) June 2, 2016
On that occasion, the company pushed all users to download Facebook Messenger after it removed the chat feature from its flagship app. Messenger has remained among the App Store's top-ranking free apps ever since.
This month, the company also announced that it would be removing chat from its mobile web app too, leaving users with no other option but to download Messenger if they want to continue using the feature on their phones or tablets.
In related news, Facebook announced this week that it has begun rolling out a new 360-degree photo feature across the social network, which will let users view uploaded panoramic shots and 360-degree photos in a more immersive way.
Photos compatible with the 360 feature are identified by a compass icon on the right-hand side of the shot once it has been uploaded. Mobile users can explore a photo by tapping and dragging it or by moving their phone, while desktop users can click and drag it with their mouse or trackpad.