Facebook Copies Snapchat, Introduces Filters and Lenses

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Snapchat copied Instagram. Then, Instagram copied Snapchat. Now, Facebook is introducing a new feature to live photo and video that’s similar to Snapchat’s lenses.

The feature launched in Brazil (iOS only) and Canada today on the Facebook app. When users first open their news feed on the Facebook app, half of the screen will be filled with a camera, where users can add lenses and filters to their photos and videos. The filters, frames and masks are currently Olympics-themed, in time for today’s opening ceremony. They were designed by the popular face-swap app MSQRD, which Facebook bought in March.

“We think Snapchat has done a really good job of making it so their composer is centered around the camera and that’s what we want to do as well,” said Facebook product manager Sachin Monga to USA Today.

These features are meant to make it easier for users to share photos and videos, at a time when Facebook has been experiencing a 21% decline in original sharing.

“Ten years ago, most of what we shared and consumed online was text. Now it’s photos. And soon, most of it will be videos,” said Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s second-quarter earnings call. “We see a world that is video first, with video at the heart of all of our apps and services.”

According to BuzzFeed News, Facebook doesn’t have immediate plans to bring filters and lenses to the US, but it hopes to launch globally if it is successful in Brazil and Canada.

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