In an unprecedented move, Facebook is testing several features similar to those already available on rival Snapchat. The social media giant has started testing new camera and messaging features, which could be incorporated onto its main app.
The features, which at present are being tested in Ireland, include photo and digital masks, which uses customised software to add images onto a user's face, similar to Snapchat lenses. Users can add images like hearts and bubbles onto the frame as well. Yet another filter feature provides users with reanimated scenes in the mastery of famous artists like Vincent Van Gogh or Georgia O'Keefe.
Another new feature called Direct, which is a separate entity to Messenger, will allow users to share photos and videos with individuals or groups. This feature is enabled with disappearing abilities. Once posted, if a video or image receives no comments over 24 hours, it will disappear. A Facebook spokesperson said that users will only have 24 hours to replay the video or image from the first time that it was opened, CNet reported.
Facebook's "new camera" will also be directly accessible from the News Feed, with a quick right swipe. The camera can be accessed via its new location, which is at the top left corner of the News Feed. However, the social media giant's most notable addition is the reactive filters, which cover a user's phone in a variety or flora and fauna which can be moved around and disrupted with the user's movements.
TechCrunch quoted a Facebook offical as saying, "We may test more variations of these before rolling this out globally". Product manager Sachin Monga said, "We want to make visual sharing on Facebook fast, fun, and flexible." There is no word as yet on when the features would be rolled out globally.
The new features were made possible by the technology behind the face-swapping app MSQRD, which it acquired in March.