Facebook introduces some new AR fun for Messenger

Facebook launches holiday and New Year's features for the festive season

Facebook introduces some new AR fun for Messenger

The tool enables the user to drop 3D objects into your pictures or videos. World Effects is similar to what we have seen in Snapchat's World Lenses.

Eight months after debuting the AR Studio tool and Augmented Reality Camera Effects platform at its F8 developer conference, Facebook has opened the platform up to developers around the world as the solution leaves its private beta test.

So Facebook is effectively racing against not just Snapchat in this field, but Apple and Google as well, both of which have launched their own AR platforms in addition to baking it new AR features within their respective mobile apps and services. The Facebook AR Studio is the company's next way of targeting Snapchat via products that are essentially clones of features created by a company few see as being a real threat. You can also use an arrow to point to an exact object or location in a panorama so your friend knows what you're referring to. By opening up its toolkit to developers, Facebook is hoping to take advantage of Snap's reticence to work with third parties.

Messenger has multiple stickers including a heart, robot, arrow, and you can also put up word bubbles like "love", "bae", "heart" and "miss you" on the live camera feed.

Users can open the Facebook or Messenger Camera, scroll through the World Effects and tap to add one to what they're seeing.

Facebook's challenge will be that since it does not have its own operating system to have direct access to the phone's camera like Apple and Google do. Meanwhile, Facebook has been operating a developer platform for more than a decade, and has fostered a huge community of coders looking to get their content in front of Facebook's massive 2 billion user audience.

Adding a World Effect is pretty easy, if you're used to using filters and stickers on your photo or video. Developers have built animated frames, masks and interactive experiences for augmented reality.

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