Video chats inside Facebook Messenger are starting to look a lot like, well, the rest of Facebook. On Monday, the social media platform launched several special effects inside Messenger’s video capability, including emoji reactions, camera filters, and masks that respond to movements and facial expressions.
In case the visual cues from a video chat isn’t enough, Messenger users can now turn themselves into an emoji reaction while chatting via video. The five new reactions don’t just pop up as a simple like but are added to the video itself. Tapping love will bring up hearts around your head, for example, while the sad icon will sprout fake crocodile tears from your eyes. The emoji reactions include the same ones Facebook users find on status updates and comments, including love, haha, wow, sad, and angry.
Since the reactions use facial recognition to add special effects, there’s also a version for when there’s no face on the screen. All five of the emoji reactions disappear after their original animated stint on the screen.
Video chats are also getting several new features that are not too far unlike the new Facebook Camera. Users can add filters to their video chats in real time. The effects are previewed first before the user applies the effects live. Along with more bold options from duo-tone and black and white, the feature also includes more subtle lighting tweaks as well.
Masks aren’t exactly a new feature inside of Messenger’s video chats, but with this update they are even more interactive. Like some of the live masks inside Facebook Camera (the latest of which is a Justice League themed set), the masks will react to specific motions on camera. Waving an arm, opening your mouth or raising an eyebrow alters the special effect. Unlike emoji reactions, Facebook says the new masks stay put until you use another one or switch the mask off.
The final feature added with today’s update is a bit less fun and a bit more practical — recognizing many people like to screenshot video chats, Facebook now makes it easier to do so with a dedicated photo button. Now, a camera icon appears inside the video chat which allows the user to grab a screenshot and quickly save it to the camera roll or, of course, share it. The image is also easily shared with other members of the chat, Facebook says.
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