You might be aware of third-party augmented reality effects on Instagram and Facebook many of which are becoming increasingly popular during quarantine. And apparently, these effects are likely to come to Messenger and Portal as well.
During today’s Facebook Connect conference, the company announced that it will open both Portal and Messenger to deploy Spark AR creators starting next year. This means that in addition to the augmented reality effects that Facebook has developed and that Messenger and Portal already have, they will soon be able to obtain the third-party effects.
Facebook also announced its partnership with The New York Times in a new AR lab to explore the “AR-first Journalism” feature that aims to help people understand news topics in a more interactive and practical way. According to the company, these augmented reality stories will merge with Instagram. One of the examples shown by Facebook is an augmented reality visualization of air pollution during the pandemic in different parts of the world.
In addition to the New York Times, the company has also teamed up with the Smithsonian to add augmented reality experiences to its collections and artwork.
Augmented reality is getting really fast, and it’s one of the main ways users interact on Facebook apps. According to the company, more than 600 million people use AR across Facebook apps and devices every month, and there are now more than 400,000 content creators from 190 countries posting more than 1.2 million AR effects on Instagram and Facebook. The company said that more than half of these creators (55 percent) are also women.
It is worth noting that Facebook augmented reality is not only limited to funny face filters and tests only, but the company also seeks to experiment with its use in commerce, such as the experience of AR in Instagram ads or the Facebook store, where users can actually try a makeup sample or piece of clothing without having to go To the store, or place a virtual piece of furniture in their home to see if it fits or not.
Another important aspect of Facebook augmented reality is that it helps provide research and insight into the development of AR glasses.