Now, users could drop effects or 3D images to their photos or videos in Facebook Messenger application. This is considered as a move of Facebook before the competition in the field of the augmented reality of competitors: Snapchat, Google or Apple.

Augmented reality — better known as AR — is quickly becoming a part of our everyday lives, mainly through the apps we use the most. The most recent app to take the plunge into the world of future tech? Facebook’s Messenger, which on Dec. 12 announced a brand-new AR-focused feature: World Effects.

Now, instead of just sending your loved ones a static image or standard video, you can spice up your messages with 3D objects that can be dropped anywhere in the vicinity of the camera in your device. . Currently, Facebook says there’s support for a heart, arrow, and robot, while there are bubbles and words that read “love,” ‘bae,” “heart,” and “miss you.” Some of the filters also have accompanying audio and sound effects, which Facebook says makes them perfect for videos.

The idea is to make Messenger as playful and multifaceted as possible, so it can stay competitive with Snapchat and, Facebook hopes, lure away some of Snap’s younger user base. Snapchat launched a version of this product back in April, calling it world lenses. But Facebook says it’s just getting started. The company first launched its AR platform eight months ago at the F8 developers conference, where it teased a vision for the world in which every object can be identified and by a smartphone camera in real time, similar to Google’s existing Lens feature, but also augmented using object recognition and 3D animation. A real coffee cup can be recorded showing a virtual wave of steam, for instance.

The expansion comes as rivals Google and Apple invest more heavily in AR. Apple earlier this year announced a platform called ARKit that lets software developers build AR apps for iPhones. Google followed suit in August with its own platform for Android-powered phones, called ARCore.

This isn’t the only investment Facebook has made in AR. The company developed an augmented reality art installation on its corporate campus in Menlo Park, California. The company worked with San Francisco artist Heather Day to create a digital mural you can only see by looking at it though a special app on your phone.

Source: TheVerge, CNet

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