The Internet just about lost its mind when Snapchat released its new face-swapping filter last week. And now it seems like Facebook wants some of the action for itself when it comes to adding filters to photos and videos because it just acquired the animated filter app Masquerade.
For those who don't know the app, Masquerade (written typically as MSQRD) recently rose to popularity after allowing users to swap their face with the face of newly Oscar award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Using the selfie camera, the user can select from various different filters that change the user's face to become characters and people such as the Joker, Barack Obama and Jimmy Kimmel.
Since face-swapping appears to be the new (nightmarish) selfie trend, Facebook didn't waste any time on scooping the company up to further take on its social media rival Snapchat.
"Video communication is exploding. At Masquerade, we've worked hard to make video more fun and engaging by creating filters that enhance and alter your appearance. Now, we're excited to join forces with Facebook and bring the technology to even more people," the company announced in a blog post. "Within Facebook, we're going to be able to reach people at a scale like never before. For starters, we'll be able to bring our technology to Facebook's audience of nearly 1.6 billion people. This is a scale of audience we never imagined was possible."
Even though Facebook has acquired the app, it will continue to operate as a stand-alone free app where users can still capture and share selfies and videos with the animated filters. More features will continue to be added in the future as well. However, the app's three founders, Eugene Nevgen, Sergey Gonchar and Eugene Zatepyakin, will now work out of Facebook's London office.
Facebook's purchase price for Masquerade Technologies wasn't disclosed.
As more users sign up to Snapchat to take advantage of the platform's fun and addictive filters, we can't wait to see how Facebook will use its new image technology for its videos.