Facebook is really upping its AR game onto its Messenger platform to take on Snapchat. It seems that the company will be making AR a major part of its services and cultivate newer streams of AR content through its AR Studio platform.
The new feature that is aimed at expanding the company’s AR presence will be called World Effects, which will be coming to the Messenger app. This will allow for users to add 3D objects in their image/video that can be interacted with. These include placing objects over people’s heads and having animated 3D objects playing music in the background to images among others.
The company will be officially launching its AR Studios platform, which was originally announced back in April of this year. This will allow the public to create AR content for Facebook. Initially, the development tool was only available to brands and publishers and artists so far. Facebook wants to be on par with Google and Apple, who have both respectively launched their own AR kits and are incorporating those features in new applications.
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. This is why it is depending on third party developers to introduce new applications and features through its AR development kit.
While all the current effects that have been introduced in World Effects are still new and not completely refined yet, we can see more improvements and better usage of AR in the coming updates of the platform. Currently, the only craze that AR is bringing to users is through messaging, with Apple’s Animoji and Google’s AR apps being used for identification like Google Lens and in games, the breadth of the application for AR content is quite spread out.
Facebook aims at creating the most compelling form of AR content through just messaging and considering that the company has a user-base that spans over one-third of the world’s population so its popularity will not be questioned. Facebook recently also installed a new art installation at Menlo Park which can only be seen through a special app on the user’s phone. We may also soon see apps developed by Facebook that utilize AR for application in the future for different needs and purposes and the uses for the technology are near limitless right now.