Facebook Messenger World Effects bring Snapchat-like AR stickers

Facebook gets new festive features for the holidays

With this new feature, Facebook is trying to make Messenger as fun as possible during the holiday season, while keeping it competitive with the likes of Snapchat and others. Creators will soon be able to develop 3D digital objects for people to place onto surfaces and interact with in their physical space.

"We're going to make the camera the first mainstream augmented reality platform", said Zuckerberg when launching Camera Effects.

AR Studio is claimed to be a platform that "empowers creators to connect art with data to bring augmented reality into everyday life through the Facebook camera". This could lay the groundwork for Sponsored World Effects, which might let businesses pay to offer branded AR toys inside of Facebook. The technology builds on Facebook's existing AR features, like the ability to add filters and masks to your face in a selfie, and it's created to make Messenger more interactive by leveraging the increasingly sophisticated computer vision capabilities of smartphones. For example, on Messenger you'll be able to add a 3D heart floating above someone's head, add an arrow to point to something in a panorama or add a celebrating robot that plays music to jazz up a drab video.

Facebook's opportunity here is to take advantage of Snapchat's anti-developer attitude. There are also word bubbles like "love", "heart", and "miss you" if you're feeling especially cheesy.

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Here is also a short video by Facebook. Just open the Messenger Camera from your Inbox or while you're already in a conversation with someone.

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. It should be available for most users around the World now, so enjoy capturing and sharing all those shenanigans.

Essentially, Facebook's best lure to developers is its inherent reach thanks to a massive baked-in audience.

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