If social media apps were houses in a neighborhood and augmented reality photo effects were candy, then Facebook went to Costco and brought home a full pallet of treats.
The treats are mostly in the range of cute and cartoonish or fun and family-friendly. There are a couple on the spookier side, such an effect that turns your face into a realistic-looking skull, and another that transforms you into some kind of ... horned witch? And there's one with spiders. Eww.
The effects apply to photos and videos taken with the app's camera, and they also work in live broadcasts and video chat, where the flashlight voice changer comes in handy.
The real timesuck here is a Doodle Jump clone that inserts your face onto the jumper. Players tilt their head from left to right to change the direction of the jump. Say goodbye to the next hour!
However, Instagram (for iOS and Android) also has a few surprises of its own. They have some legit freaky stuff going on there. You'd be excused for thinking that Facebook didn't own Instagram (it does), as their offerings in this area are so different.
Of course, Snapchat has been doing this longer than Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, so the tricks and treats are even more polished.
If you've checked into Snapchat, either on iOS or Android, regularly over the past month, you know that they've had a couple of different options that have rotated in and out, with a few new photo effects and voice changers appearing today.
Sadly, Google isn't offering as much fun as the others. If you have a Pixel 2, you have access to the Stranger Things AR Stickers, but the feature has not made its way to the original Pixel series yet. In the past, they've inserted some cool features in Google Photos, but that particular Halloween app candy bowl is empty this year.
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Screenshots and GIFs by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality