Facebook Introduces World Effects AR Feature for Messenger

Allan Goodman
December 14, 2017

The World Effects feature is very similar to Snapchat's rear-facing augmented reality tools. Creators will soon be able to develop 3D digital objects for people to place onto surfaces and interact with in their physical space.

Facebook announced today that its AR Studio is now in open beta, so all developers can start creating World Effects for the company's augmented reality platform and camera. "World Effects technology enables you to drop 3D objects into your surroundings to capture and share fun moments with your family and friends".

Facebook's opportunity here is to take advantage of Snapchat's anti-developer attitude.

While all the current effects that have been introduced in World Effects are still new and not completely refined yet, we can see more improvements and better usage of AR in the coming updates of the platform. Initially, the development tool was only available to brands and publishers and artists so far.

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So Facebook is effectively racing against not just Snapchat in this field, but Apple and Google as well, both of which have launched their own AR platforms in addition to baking it new AR features within their respective mobile apps and services. "This is only the beginning, and we can't wait to see how creators bring art to life through AR Studio". To use a World Effect, simply open the Messenger Camera, and scroll to choose from the camera effects. "Facebook says that now, they support only a heart, arrow, and robot, while there are bubbles and words that read "love", 'bae", "heart", and "miss you".

Facebook has encountered some stumbling blocks in its quest for AR. This year, users can keep an eye out for new prompts from Facebook, making it easier for them to find events nearby. This means that Facebook is now jumping into the AR racing amongst other giants like Google and Apple. But if Facebook Stories aren't popular to watch, that audience isn't easily accessible.

The real world is too vast for a single company to spice up with augmented reality.

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