Facebook today is officially rolling out its long-in-testing upgrade to the main Facebook mobile app on iOS and Android, bringing a number of changes focused on the addition of an all-new camera, filters, themed effects and "Facebook Stories." The company's 24-hour post Snapchat clone was reported to have launched a few weeks ago, but a Facebook spokesperson contacted MacRumors at the time and confirmed that the feature was still in testing ahead of a wide launch, happening today.
The new camera can be found in the top left of the Facebook app's main news feed, or users can swipe right on their news feed to open up the camera (similar to Instagram). Here users can take pictures and selfies using masks, filters, and "reactive effects," where they can interact with dynamic objects such as falling snow. Style effects apply a Prisma-like artistic filter onto an image in real-time.
Brands and advertisers are also joining in on the Facebook camera launch, with users able to take selfies using filters for upcoming films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant, and Wonder Woman. Facebook said that the company will consistently update all of these effects in the camera "to give you fun new effects to explore," and even more customization is coming down the line as well.
Over the coming months, we plan to introduce new ways for the Facebook community to create their own frames and effects that can be used on any photo or video created with the new Facebook camera. Our goal is for the camera to be a home to hundreds of dynamic and fun effects that give you new ways to connect with friends, family, and your community.
We hope that with the new Facebook camera, Stories and Direct, it will be easier than ever to see the world through each other’s eyes, and we can’t wait to see the photos and videos you create. In the meantime, here’s one of my own in my tropical island disguise, hiding from work with my cat Ebi.
The launch of the Facebook camera on iOS and Android is also bringing Facebook Stories to the masses for the first time. The feature hasn't changed since it was originally in testing in January, or since it launched as Instagram Stories last summer: users can post images and videos, add silly effects and captions, and watch them disappear forever after a 24-hour period.
For users who don't want to share publicly, a new Direct option will allow Facebook friends to share the same disappearing posts directly to one another. When shared through Direct, a friend or family member will be able to look at the photo or video one time, replay it, and write a reply, but after that it'll be gone forever -- similar to Snapchat's own chat section.