Facebook’s incessant war with Snapchat wages on… this time by lightly lifting augmented reality filters.
But this isn’t the first time Facebook has dabbled in borrowing ideas from the popular ephemeral social media platform. Instagram, owned by Facebook, introduced Instagram Stories earlier this year, which—like Snapchat—are fleeting blips of videos and pictures on your feed. Now Facebook is making an attempt to dig Snapchat’s grave even further: by implementing AR filters into their messaging platform. Why? Because the “camera is now replacing the keyboard” in how users communicate, according a statement from the BBC.
Snapchat has had “Lenses” for a long while—AR filters that change everything about a video or a picture, from slapping on mere dog ears to contorting your face into a bulldog. Snapchat quietly paved the way for AR on smartphones this year, before those pesky pocket monsters, and Facebook noticed. Heck, Facebook even tried to buy Snapchat three years ago, but failed. Their recent sneaky tactics show a narrowed focus.
But who knows if Facebook actually has the capacity to body Snapchat. Snapchat still retains 60 million monthly users, mostly of a younger generation. Yet Facebook’s messaging platform surpassed the 1 billion monthly users mark in July, so maybe these new filters are the final rose to drop on the casket. Or, Snapchat at least has those cool glasses to live by now.
Facebook Messenger filters are rolling out all around the globe starting today.