Is Facebook blatantly copying Snapchat on filters and special effects?


After seeing those doggy face filters and face swap images on Snapchat, we’ll now probably enjoy the same bunch of features on Facebook as the social media giant is planning on updating its app with similar filters.

Some of these effects will include masks that will morph the users’ faces, as well as a number of overlays for the scene. People will be able to post that content as a status update or send it as a direct message to friends on Facebook. Another feature that Facebook has lifted from its competitor is that the image/video will last only as long as a conversation ensues after the content is sent, else it’ll be deleted automatically after 24 hours.

And so that people actually use this new feature, they’ve decided to place a camera icon on the top corner of the main screen of the app. It’ll also let users side-swipe to bring out the camera to start snapping. So if they want to look like they’re wearing an astronaut helmet or have some funny hat on them, they’ll get to entertain themselves and their friends to their heart’s content or they could simply just use Snapchat in the first place.

Facebook has rolled out this new feature for testing only in Ireland for now and will possibly release it to the rest of the world once it’s ready. By doing this, not only is Facebook making it apparent that Snapchat is one of its biggest competitors, but also that it will go so far as to copy features from the platform that have made it famous.

Facebook is making these augmented reality feats possible thanks to an acquisition it made earlier in the year, of a start-up called MSQRD. Back when the Olympics was happening, Facebook had developed a special camera that allowed users to paint the flag of their respective countries on their face in real time. And now they’re building up on that idea a little further.

It’s a push that Mark Zuckerberg has been keen on making for quite some time now. This week, he also introduced a new filter for live videos where users will be able to add a Halloween themed overlay to their videos. It’s a way of making more unique and personal content for individuals to share. It’s making Facebook turn more into a place of sharing media than sharing statuses and opinions. We’re not sure whether this is a good sign or not, since all the new features it’s going to add are just borrowed from already-existing ideas.

We do know that WhatsApp has already got a few features lifted straight off Snapchat like the stickers and doodling options on photos. Now Facebook wants to further extract more of Snapchat’s features onto Facebook this time. Even Instagram took a cue from Snapchat when they decided to add the Stories feature. Facebook just can’t get enough!

It’s not an original move from Facebook. And it seems like Snapchat is winning the race of being the most interactive social media platform. For now at least.

But we’ll never forget the pioneering AR effects that we all got out of the Xperia line of phones from Sony. Those phones got it all right.


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