At the 2017 F8 Conference, Facebook announced that they will let developers create their own Camera Effects Augmented Reality (AR) filters, through their Camera Effects platform.
In case you have no idea what AR Camera Effects are, a good example is that dog filter that you see everywhere or something like this (Don’t judge):
Snapchat has been doing this for a while now and the app recently added a new “World Lenses” which I have to say, is impressive. Facebook knows that AR is the future and they are not being left behind, this would explain all the copy-paste they have done in the past few months.
Speaking of copying, Mark Zuckerberg told TechCrunch that Facebook was just laying the ground for Camera Effects platform launch, when he was asked about Facebook’s copying of all Snapchat’s features. He continued to say that other apps (like Snapchat) have kept their augmented reality experience creation tools to themselves, but building an open platform would be one of the big advances that pushes Camera Effects forward.
The Camera Effects Platform has two tools to help in creating the AR effects. There’s Frame Studio which “allows designers to create frames for profile pictures or for people to discover and express themselves in the Facebook camera” without any coding required. The AR Studio, “offers powerful, fully customizable tools for 3D artists and developers to create masks, animations and advanced scripted effects.”
The platform will allow developers to use precise location, object recognition and depth detection to create their effects. Facebook’s camera will be able to recognize specific objects like a coffee cup, and bubble up related effects to users like steam coming off the cup or sharks swimming inside the coffee.
This looks like a way for Facebook to monetize as well, with promoted effects and frames. However a spokesperson attached to Facebook told TechCrunch that they are focused on making the product great for people before introducing paid ways for businesses to take part.
Facebook has opened up an application process for developers to apply for access to the closed beta of the platform’s AR Studio tool.