Facebook Messenger now lets you add World Effects 3D objects

Isaac Cain
December 14, 2017

Facebook is making its Messenger app a little more fun for its users. Today, eight months after debuting its Augmented Reality Camera Effects platform and AR Studio tool at F8, Facebook is allowing all developers to start building AR experiences for its Facebook Camera.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has focused the company's AR efforts around the camera following the success of camera-based AR tools and games like Pokemon Go and social media face filters. The technology builds on Facebook's existing AR features, like the ability to add filters and masks to your face in a selfie, and it's created to make Messenger more interactive by leveraging the increasingly sophisticated computer vision capabilities of smartphones. By opening up its toolkit to developers, Facebook is hoping to take advantage of Snap's reticence to work with third parties.

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What's next for AR Studio?

Meanwhile, Facebook has been operating a developer platform for more than a decade, and has fostered a huge community of coders looking to get their content in front of Facebook's massive 2 billion user audience. The set of effects at the moment is quite small, only including a heart, an arrow, a robot, a unicorn, and some word bubbles. It's also our own;guesstimation' that once the library grows, Instagram could technically score a similar functionality on its own - it makes a lot of sense and will fall in line with Facebook's policy of trickling-down features. To use a World Effect, simply open the Messenger Camera, and scroll to choose from the camera effects. This means that Facebook is now jumping into the AR racing amongst other giants like Google and Apple. Unlike your run of the mill stickers and emojis, these stick to the real-world object you put them on, not to the camera. Whichever app offers the most and best experiences will be the one people wave in the air to see what's hidden out of view.

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