Facebook takes on Snapchat and steps up its selfie game with acquisition of the popular face-swapping app MSQRD
Facebook expands video services with acquisition of MSQRD appGetty Images

Facebook has acquired Masquerade Technologies, the makers of the popular face swapping app MSQRD. The social network has bought the image and video filter app in efforts to expand its video services.

Facebook plans to allow Masquerade to continue operating as a standalone and free app, while simultaneously incorporating its video and image filter features within its platform. Masquerade is a year old startup that has recently topped the app charts, becoming one of the most popular face-swapping apps available.

Masquerade said in a blog: "Now, we're excited to join forces with Facebook and bring the technology to even more people. Within Facebook, we're going to be able to reach people at a scale like never before. While we will be partnering with Facebook to integrate our technology, the app will stay up and running so you'll continue to record fun selfies and keep using the product. You can also expect us to keep adding fun features!"

A Facebook spokesperson said, "Masquerade has built a fantastic app, MSQRD, with world-class imaging technology for video. We're excited to welcome Masquerade to our team and continue enhancing the Facebook video experience," the Tech Insider reported.

Masquerade and Facebook rival Snapchat have similar features. Both apps offer users the ability to liven up their selfies, images and videos by offering them various tools like face swapping, adding texts and captions and animations. While Snapchat's reach is undeniably limited when compared to Facebook, (100 million to Facebook's 1 billion daily users), Snapchat has nevertheless been successful in expanding operations, especially following partnering up with sports and media firms. In 2013, Facebook attempted to acquire Snapchat, however, the deal fell through.

Both Facebook and the Belarus-based Masquerade have refused to disclose the financial details of the acquisition. The founders of the face-swapping app Eugene Nevgen, Sergey Gonchar and Eugene Zatepyakin will work out of Facebook's London headquarters.