Facebook is once again showing the influence of camera-friendly rival Snapchat by introducing a new camera with effects and two additional ways to share the photos and videos users take.
Starting this week on iOS and Android, users can tap the camera icon on the top left corner of the Facebook app or swipe right from News Feed to try out the new in-app camera. The Facebook camera is packed with dozens of effects like masks, frames and interactive filters that users can apply to their photos and videos. Reactive effects let users interact with dynamic objects- like falling snow-and style effects apply an artistic filter to thr videos in real time.
Facebook is also partnering with brands to create masks for upcoming movies Alien: Covenant, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Power Rangers, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Wonder Woman. Additionally, Facebook is including guest art from visual artists like Douglas Coupland and Hattie Stewart.
In the main Facebook app Facebook is also introducing Facebook Stories, which lets users share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection atop News Feed. Friends can view photos or videos to stories for 24 hours, and stories won't appear on user's Timelines or in News Feeds unless they post them there, too.
Snapchat, owned by Snap Inc., popularized the sharing of digitally decorated photographs on social media, especially among teenagers, and exposed a weakness of Facebook as the companies battle for eyeballs and leisure time.
Snap, which went public this month, has recently emphasized its ambitions to build gadgets and has called itself a camera company rather than a social media firm.
In addition to sharing to Stories, Facebook has also added Direct, an option that's designed for sharing individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time.
When users send a photo or video via Direct, their friends will be able to view it once and replay it or write a reply. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, the content is no longer visible in Direct. Over the coming months, Facebook plans 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.