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.

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