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Facebook Copies Snapchat (Again) with Halloween Augmented Reality Masks

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As Halloween is quickly approaching, social networking giant Facebook Inc. has debuted an augmented reality “masks” option for users in Facebook Live, just in time for the spooky holiday. The Masks include a jack-o’-lantern, a witch, a skeleton, and some animals. The masks are very similar to Snapchat’s in-app face filters, marking the umpteenth time Facebook has copied the popular video and messaging app.

These augmented reality masks utilize Facebook’s recent acquisition of MSQRD, a smartphone app that lets users change their appearance during video chats in real time. To access the masks, tap the Live Video icon at the top of your Facebook Timeline, Page, or News Feed. And once you’re live, touch the magic wand in the upper left corner of your smartphone screen to select a mask.

Image Credit: Facebook

Facebook also launched a limited-edition Halloween set of reactions. The “Like” and “Love” options look to be the same, but “Haha” is now a purple laughing witch, “Wow” is a ghost, “Sad” is Frankenstein, and “Angry” is a glaring pumpkin.

Image Credit: Facebook

Facebook has been putting a lot of time and effort into its Live platform recently, as well as trying to boost its brand and image. According to TechCrunch, “[Masks] could revitalize Facebook, which looks a little stale and stodgy compared to Snapchat, with its focus on creative tools…[the company] is struggling to hold on to any sense of cool it still has from its wild college growth days.” While Snapchat does have some awesome features, Facebook can only look to that platform for so many ideas without seeming desperate to regain that “cool” factor.  

The company said Masks will be rolling out to iOS users over the next few days in the U.S., the U.K., and New Zealand. Android users should be on the lookout for the feature to hit their devices, as Facebook will make Masks available to them in the coming months.

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