Facebook has purchased the face-swapping app Masquerade, also known as MSQRD, treading further on Snapchat territory.
Snapchat has been on top of the game, where the company's CEO Evan Spiegel has even boasted that the app punches in 8 billion video views every day. What's more, it took the Internet by storm when it started the face-swapping craze.
With the acquisition, it looks like Facebook wants a slice of the pie. MSQRD hit the digital shelves just last year, providing users a way to add cartoonish overlays and various filters on videos.
"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," says Eugene Nevgen, CEO of Masquerade. Noting that Facebook's 1.6 billion monthly active users is a figure that it "never imagined was possible" for the company to reach.
It's no secret that Facebook is towering above most contenders in the messaging app scene with Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, but it doesn't have all the audience in its grasp, as Snapchat has a firm hold on the younger demographic, thanks to its ephemeral twist on messages.
Of course, the social media company won't let things remain the way they are. It has also been putting in more effort in videos, particularly video-editing tools that'll allow users to add stickers or text on images. On top of that, it also launched Facebook Live not long ago. In other words, taking MSQRD under its wing is one of the ways that Facebook believes will give them the edge.
"Masquerade has built a fantastic app, MSQRD, with world-class imaging technology for video. We're excited to welcome Masquerade to our team and continue enhancing the Facebook video experience," a Facebook spokesperson tells TechCrunch.
It should also be noted that MSQRD will continue to be an independent product. What should be expected here is that the features, from the overlays and face-swapping technology to the filters, will make it to Facebook.
Though it does seem that the company could've made its own brand of these tools, it appears that it decided not to take any chances, relying instead on a team who has the experience and know-how in the segment.
Now, the move isn't exactly a jostle on all fronts with Snapchat, but it's a good indication of what Facebook has in mind moving forward in the competition.
Here's Mark Zuckerberg welcoming Masquerade Iron Many Style: