Facebook is leveling up its Stories feature. Starting with the new 3D drawings and Instagram's Boomerang, the social media platform hopes to compete with Snapchat.
Facebook Camera New AR Feature Lets Users Draw
The 3D drawing feature, as what the company calls it, allows users make doodles on the screen and combine the drawings with the real world. People can soon draw scribbles before or during recording and then move the camera around to see the markings stay in place.
The AR technology should also be able to detect objects from surfaces. Users will then be able to wrap around their scribbles around the objects, but the technology is still far from perfect. It will not work, for example, in low light conditions and if the software is unsure of the object.
"We wanted to give people an easy way to create with augmented reality and draw in the world around them," said John Barnett, a Camera Product Manager in Facebook.
The feature is only available with a gradient brush as it rolls out over the next few weeks, but Facebook plans to add more brushes.
Boomerang Replacing Facebook Camera Looping GIF
Facebook is also bringing Instagram's Boomerang feature to Stories. Facebook had its own version previously, which had the same effect as Boomerang, except it had some bugs. One noticeable and annoying flaw was that the GIFs return to the beginning once they end.
Boomerang is smoother in this regard, and so it is now coming to the Facebook Camera to replace the social media's own looping tech.
Facebook Intends To Make Its Camera Work
Instagram makes it easy for users to cross-post to Facebook when they publish a Story. Given that it has more users than Snapchat, the pioneer of vanishing posts, Facebook will have an even harder time convincing the people to use its platform and cross-post to Instagram instead.
However, that does not stop Facebook from trying at all. The social media company is currently testing different ways to encourage more people into its Stories.
"The way people share and connect is changing; it's quickly becoming more real-time and visual. We're testing new creative tools to bring pictures and videos to life, and introducing easier ways to find and share stories," a spokesperson from Facebook told TechCrunch.
Apart from the new features, Facebook is also making the panel larger and adding a camera window in the status composer. It is also making users post to Stories by default when they use Facebook Camera.