Facebook opens AR platform and 'World Effects' to all developers

Facebook brings Snapchat-like AR filters to the Messenger app

The feature has been brought into light to all the developers, eight months after launching their Augmented Reality Camera Effects platform and AR Studio tool at F8.

Apple and Google have already released their versions of AR kits to developers earlier this year, it might seem like Facebook is late to the party, but the difference here is that their kit will allow for both development on the iOS and Android without limitations. Previously, Facebook implemented AR features where users were able to wear these virtual masks or use some sorts of filters using their camera as well. For users, that means that they can add AR overlays on top of their pictures as they take them, but for developers it also means that they are now able to freely design then deploy to Facebook their own customized and stylized AR picture overlays. Facebook's copy of Snapchat's World Lenses - that augment your environment with 3D objects rather than just your selfies. "World Effects technology enables you to drop 3D objects into your surroundings to capture and share fun moments with your family and friends".

"One of our goals with AR Studio is to put the power of augmented reality in the hands of all creators", said Kirkpatrick.

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Facebook's opportunity here is to take advantage of Snapchat's anti-developer attitude. To use a World Effect, simply open the Messenger Camera, and scroll to choose from the camera effects. "Currently, Facebook says there's support for a heart, arrow, and robot, while there are bubbles and words that read "love", 'bae", "heart", and "miss you".

Facebook's challenge will be that since it does not have its own operating system to have direct access to the phone's camera like Apple and Google do.

Essentially, Facebook's best lure to developers is its inherent reach thanks to a massive baked-in audience. When you move your camera around, the World Effect will stay in the same location. That breadth of offering will be key to becoming the default way people explore the AR world.

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