Facebook swipes from Snapchat for spooky Live video selfie filters

facebook live filters msqrd
Facebook is finally starting to integrate the selfie filters offered by the MSQRD app (which it acquired in March) with Live video.

Having announced the feature in June, this marks the first time the facial overlay graphics have been added to the live-streaming tool. Seeing as Halloween is just around the corner, Facebook is kicking off the launch with a set of spooky filters, including a skull, an evil queen, a pumpkin, and a witch. Taking a page out of Snapchat’s book, Facebook aims to provide an alternating set of “masks” beyond Halloween. For now, Live video masks are only available on the Facebook app for iOS in the United States, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. The social network promises the update is heading to Android devices, and more countries, soon.

Even the UI for the new feature looks eerily similar to Snapchat, with a series of square windows at the bottom of the display — each containing an emoji-like icon that represents a different mask — that you can scroll through and tap to select. To access the feature, you must first tap the Live video icon at the top of your timeline, news feed or Page (for public figures using the exclusive Facebook Mentions app for iOS). Next, tap the wand icon at the upper left corner of the screen, and select the new masks icon in the creative tools tray at the bottom of the display. Tapping a mask will apply it to your beautiful mug and scrolling to the no mask window will remove it — it’s as simple as that.

The unique aspect of the new feature is that Facebook’s masks work in real-time. Despite the fact that Snapchat lets you play around with its filters, you can only apply one before you start recording or snap a pic. On the other hand, your Facebook viewers will be able to watch in amazement as you goof around with as many filters as you wish during the course of your live broadcast. Believe us when tell you that Snapchat fans will lap up the new feature.

Live video graphics are an important part of Facebook’s strategy for the live-streaming format. On Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg demoed the company’s new “style transfer” graphics that use AI to apply artistic themes to your live broadcasts. The move sees Facebook once again plagiarizing another app, in this case Prisma, but with its own real-time spin on the feature. Unwilling to go down without a fight, Prisma co-founder Alexey Moiseenkov quickly responded by showcasing his own platform’s filters working in real-time during a Facebook Live broadcast — your move, Zuck.

Aside from the masks, Facebook is also launching a set of Halloween-themed reactions that include a skeletal thumbs up (like), a candy heart (love), a laughing witch (haha), a ghost (wow), Frankenstein (sad), and a scowling pumpkin (angry). Let the silly scares commence.

Social Media

Facebook gets a bad rap, former exec says, but we should break it up anyway

The rise of hate speech, the trolling, the comment on Facebook? Not Facebook's fault, says Alex Stamos, the social network's former chief security officer. But the site should still be broken up, he says.
Mobile

Your OnePlus 7 Pro is awesome out of the box, but there's more to discover

You've got your awesome new OnePlus 7 Pro in your hand, and you want to make sure it's set up correctly. Here's our complete guide to the settings you should change, and features you must know about, on the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Android

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Google and Huawei, Alphabet’s meatball drones, and more

On Monday's episode of DT Live, we discuss the ongoing battle between Google and Huawei, Alphabet’s meatball-delivering drones, Facebook’s secret robot division, deepfake Joe Rogan, and more.
Social Media

Instagram ditches plans for stand-alone Direct messaging app

Instagram is shuttering it's stand-alone messaging app, Direct, after testing it since 2017. While the messaging features remain intact inside Instagram, the separate app will be discontinued in the next few weeks.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Social Media

Instagram’s new Explore grid tempts you to open your wallet

Instagram has made some changes to its Explore tab that might tempt you into the occasional shopping spree. It's also planning to add Stories to the grid, mixing them up with the existing photos and videos.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Social Media

A fond farewell to Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous feline

We say farewell and fondly remember Grumpy Cat, the internet's famous frowning feline and a genuine sweetheart, who died at the age of seven. Even tempered and tolerant, Grumpy Cat was in real life the opposite of her online persona.
Mobile

Treat your selfie with one of these 13 apps made to beautify your pics

Selfies might be a phenomenon second only to karaoke, but they're not the easiest thing in the world to create. Thankfully, these awesome selfie apps for Android and iOS will make beautifying your self-portraits easier than capturing them.
Web

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.
Mobile

New York could dish out fines for texting while crossing the street

Do you text on your phone while crossing the street? The dangers of stepping out in front of a car or bus are obvious, but in New York, offenders could soon face a fine of as much as $250, too.
Social Media

Help wanted: British royal family seeks social media wiz to run its accounts

The British royal family is looking for a social media expert to help it communicate its role and activities to the masses. So if you like the idea of having the Queen as your boss, why not throw your hat in the ring?
Social Media

Millions of Instagram influencers reportedly had private data exposed online

As many as 49 million Instagram influencers have reportedly had their private data exposed in an online database that had no password protection. The database was apparently created by a marketing firm and has been taken offline.