After acquiring live filter app MSQRD back in March, Facebook today has begun officially integrating its capabilities into the main Facebook mobile app, focusing first on a soft rollout in Brazil and Canada (via TechCrunch). The Olympics-themed launch will greet users with an open, front-facing camera window when first jumping into Facebook, letting them swipe between various filters that add animations and graphics onto their face, which they can then take a photo or video of and then post directly to their feed.
For now, Brazilian and Canadian users will only see filters inspired by the Rio Olympics -- like Brazilian flags and a "Go Canada!" motto -- that attach to the user's face and move around with them, similar to Snapchat's popular camera filters. Facebook is also introducing static banners in its rollout, with similar country and team-supported messages that attach to any picture or image.
"The way that people share has changed a lot" Facebook Product Manager Sachin Monga tells me. "12 years ago, most of what was shared was text" so Facebook’s status composer with a big white text box. "Now, mobile changed things a little bit, but we didn’t really change our tools. If you look at what people are sharing, now it’s mostly photos, and soon it will be mostly videos. Our strategy is really simple. We want to make it really easy to share photos and videos" Monga explains.
Facebook has long been pushing its video content, whether created by media companies or everyday users, as a main focus of the social network in the future. Although the company didn't confirm a wider launch for the new MSQRD features, it seems like the new live filter abilities would be a logical next step for the company to make in the video space. In a different vein, but still edging closer to the popularity of Snapchat, Instagram recently debuted a "Stories" feature with posts that disappear after a day.
Users on iOS and Android within Canada, and iOS in Brazil, will start seeing the new update rolling out to the Facebook mobile app today, and it will "run through the end of the Olympics." Facebook is available to download from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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