Facebook is working on a standalone camera app intended to encourage users to create and share more photos and videos, The Wall Street Journal reported, cautioning that the initiative is in early stages and may never actually become public.

Comparisons were made with ephemeral photo app Snapchat. Other features are likely to include live streaming support.

The report said Facebook users are becoming “increasingly passive”, viewing content rather than creating it, although a Facebook spokeswoman said the overall level of sharing on Facebook was “similar to levels in prior years”.

Last month, Facebook acquired Masquerade, the company behind an app which enables users to add filters to enhance and alter appearance, similar to filters on Snapchat.

Though the app will continue as a standalone product it is possible the technology could be used for Facebook’s new app.

In the past, Facebook has launched photo apps Slingshot and Camera, but they never really took off and were shut down.

Meanwhile, Instagram is going strong with 400 million monthly active users, offering a less casual option for image sharing.