Facebook Messenger adds new AR capabilities for group video calls – TechCrunch

Facebook Messenger introduces new augmented reality (AR) capabilities for video calling and Messenger Rooms, a video conferencing platform feature. The company notes that Instagram will soon have a new feature “Group Effects”.

Group effects work for all participants in the video call, as Facebook says it seeks to make AR effects a shared experience. Users can now choose from a library of more than 70 group effects, including a game in which you compete to create the best burger as quickly as possible.

To check out new group effects, start a video call or create a room, tap the emoticon to open the effects bar, and then select group effects. From there, you can choose the AR experience that will be applied to all participants in the call.

In addition, Facebook reports that at the end of the month it will expand access to its Spark AR API to allow more creators and developers to create group effects.

“Group effects provide a more engaging and interactive way to connect with friends. They also support the creative community and give people more ways to express themselves, ”the company said in a statement.

Facebook Messenger is also launching new “suggested word effects” that will launch a chat animation. For example, now that you’re sending individual messages, such as “good night” or “hello,” you’ll see an opportunity to create a word effect for that term. Facebook first launched text effects in August for special holidays and internal jokes, but is now extending this feature to include everyday phrases. The proposed text effects are available to all iOS users and will be available on Android in the coming weeks.

The company is also launching new “sound mods” about James Bond after the release of “It’s Not Time to Die” in theaters. There are also new chat topics, including “care” and ghostly Halloween themes. Facebook Messenger will also launch four Halloween haunted AR effects.

Group AR in Messenger appears because the company is undoubtedly making a growing push towards the “metaverse” in general and meets the theme of creating a shared virtual experience.

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