Another step towards Snapchat? Here's how you can use Facebook's new photo filters
Facebook is launching a major new camera feature, again using Ireland as an exclusive testbed ahead of a global launch.
And it’s another huge shot across the bows of Snapchat.
The feature, released today to Irish Facebook users, is a new photo and video messaging system that uses filters, masks and augmented reality to let you play around with your camera when chatting to friends.
The Irish Independent had an early look at the new feature, which is more than a little like Snapchat’s messaging system. Once a photo or video is sent, it disappears as soon as the resulting conversation finishes up. And you can choose from a variety of augmented reality filters such as masks, floating effects and location-specific stamps. (We counted over 30, including local stamps such as ‘what’s the craic’ and ‘story, horse’.)
The feature can be used to post to the public Facebook feed or individually to friends or groups of friends -- a new messaging path that would seem to compete directly with Facebook’s spun-off Messenger app.
For Irish Facebook users to get access to the new camera feature, the Facebook app needs to be updated from the App Store or Google Play Store from today.
- Swiping right on the homescreen now immediately accesses the new camera feature
- You’ll get access to a number of frames, reactive effects, style effects and masks
- Some users will see a camera icon at the top left corner of News Feed
- ‘Reactive effects’ let you interact with the objects in the frame
- ‘Style effects’ apply an artistic filter to your video in real time to turn your world into a work of art in real time, not just after the photo has been taken.
- You can choose who you share the photo or video with after you capture it, or post it to your Facebook feed
- When you send a photo or video to a friend, it will stay visible for as long as you and your friend are having a conversation on the content. When the conversation ends, the content will no longer be visible to you or your friend.
It’s not the first time Ireland has been chosen as a testbed for a big new Facebook release.
Last year, the social giant tested out alternative emoji to the ‘thumbs up’ symbol in Ireland ahead of anywhere else in the world. Based on the feedback it got here, it went ahead and released it around the globe.
“For this test in Ireland, our main intention is to learn,” said Sachin Monga, a product manager working on the new camera feature in Facebook’s Californian headquarters. “We want to see what resonates in Ireland. The goal would be to bring these experiences to the whole community.”