Facebook has rolled out new features and, yes, some of them look (un)surprisingly like Snapchat features.
Facebook has said it wants to “make it fast, fun and easy for people to share creative photos and videos with whomever they choose, for however long they choose.” The more people share with each other, the more open and connected communities can be, it surmised.
As of yesterday, Facebook began rolling out a new camera with effects and two additional ways to share the photos and videos you take.
It is a feature that has a strong whiff of Snapchat about it. In the past year, Facebook has essentially been accused of cloning features on rival social media networks and messenger apps.
For example, in August 2016, Facebook-owned Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, a near identical version of Snapchat Stories.
In any case, with this new Facebook feature, Facebook users can tap on the camera icon on the top left corner of the Facebook app or swipe right from News Feed to try out the new in-app camera.
The Facebook camera includes dozens of effects like masks, frames and interactive filters that you can apply to your photos and videos. Reactive effects let you interact with dynamic objects – like falling snow – and style effects apply an artistic filter to your video in real time, letting you turn your everyday selfie into a Picasso-style work of art.
The social media network is also partnering with brands to create masks for upcoming movies Alien: Covenant, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Power Rangers, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Wonder Woman.
Facebook has also added Direct, an option for sharing individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time.
When users send a photo or video via Direct, their friends will be able to view it once and replay it or write a reply. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, the content is no longer visible in Direct.
Facebook has also introduced a Live Location feature making it easier users to choose to share where they are with friends and family.
Selena Wang, product manager, Messenger, Facebook, said: “We’ve been testing this for a little while, and people tell us that Live Location is helpful when trying to coordinate with friends, telling people how close you are when you’re on your way to an appointment, or even sharing where you are with your roommate when you’re on your way home at night. You can share your Live Location with a group of friends in Messenger or just with one person – it’s up to you!”