Facebook is aware that Snapchat is killing the social media game amongst the youths, which makes sense, because in 2017, video is king in social media currency. Facebook has continually shown that Mark Zuckerberg and crew seem to think the best strategy to keep up is to simply copy them.
The newest development in this game of copycat is Facebook's update of their in-app camera, which is essentially just Snapchat on Facebook. This means Facebook is bringing augmented reality (AR), in the form of ridiculous Snapchat-esque filters, to the masses. By the masses, we of course are referring to all your parents, aunts, uncles, and older relatives for whom Facebook is their only connection to the fun part of the internet.
The filters will technically be called "Facebook Camera Effects" and will have "masks, frames, and interactive filters." Facebook will also be cashing in on these filters, with sponsored branded content from movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Despicable Me 3.
These filtered photos and videos bring along two new sharing options. They can then be sent directly to certain friends via Facebook Direct and will disappear after they are viewed. They can also be shared with all your friends through Facebook Stories, by tapping on "Your Story" at the top of the News Feed. Stories will disappear after 24 hours. Think of these features like Snapchat's Snaps and My Story, because that's essentially what they are.
These new options are exclusively in the Facebook app for Android and iOS, and they are seemingly completely separate both from the "My Day" feature within the Messenger app, and from Facebook Live. Currently, it is unclear whether either of the two will merge with the new camera features.
These new camera functions, which begin rolling out today, have been in development for a year. Sachin Monga, product manager at Facebook, said, "We really think we are closer to the beginning of this shift towards visual content than we are towards the end."
People's focus is no longer on text but on photo and video (which explains the decline of poor Twitter).
Monga says that Facebook is totally ready to hop on the AR hype train, stating, "One of the most exciting parts of this launch is that we have the ability to bring an AR-enabled camera to the more than 1 billion people who are using the app every day."
While the spread of AR to the older generation may make it less hip amongst people under 25, it definitely will be interesting to see the different ways it will permeate itself into our society.