The camera is really becoming an integral part of Facebook Messenger — so much so that users now have direct access to it from the home screen of the messaging app.
Facebook has re-tweaked Messenger’s camera to offer a higher quality, faster experience. It has also added a lot of new camera-related features that make Messenger more of a hybrid between iMessage and Snapchat.
More than 2.5 billion emojis, photos, stickers, and videos are sent every day on Messenger.
The new camera experience in Messenger allows you to add 3D effects, artistic filters, stickers, emojis, text, and doodles to photos and videos. It’s quite similar to what most messaging apps are using— iMessage after the iOS 10 update introduced message animations, the ability to doodle and add stickers to images, and more; even Google Allo places a strong emphasis on sticker packs, text emphasis, and a higher level of customization in how we interact with each other on smartphones.
Facebook says more the company wants to enhance the experience for its next billion users.
Messenger’s new camera features have a striking resemblances to Snapchat’s basic features. For example, both platforms now have a flower crown face-tracking 3D mask. The interface itself isn’t too far apart in design — there’s even a large circle at the bottom center of both apps now.
In fact if you’re a Snapchat user, many of Messenger’s new camera features will come naturally. You can add various types of 3D masks and effects like a fox face, reindeer horns, large eyeballs, as well as static stickers, frames, filters, and more. Some of these are existing assets that have been available on the Messenger platform, but many are new thanks to partnerships with various artists and influencers around the world.
To start, the camera shutter button on the home screen of Messenger will be holiday-themed — and there will be plenty of holiday frames, masks, stickers, and effects to slap on photos and videos as the update rolls out globally. The social network is hoping to introduce new content for special occasions and holidays like Easter.
In case you’re not a fan of the “camera replacing the keyboard,” a palette icon near the shutter button will also let users “add art and stickers to your text.”
They have has been trying to distinguish Messenger as a different platform from Facebook — you don’t even need a Facebook account to use the messaging service. It’s all about the next billion users — Messenger now hosts more than 33,000 chat bots from various companies, and just last week the company released 17 games you can play in directly in conversations.
The improvements to the Facebook Messenger camera are rolling out via an update in the coming days — you can grab it when it’s available from the App Store or the Google Play Store.