Facebook’s latest attempt to clone the success of Snapchat is making its way to Messenger. The company’s standalone messaging app now has a camera front and center that comes packed with many of the now-familiar features once pioneered by its rival. Using the new camera, you can doodle over photos or videos using your finger, add stickers and emojis, add real-time masks and effects to your selfies, and stylize your creations with Prisma-like art filters. Facebook says the product is rolling out globally for both iOS and Android starting today.
This new addition to Messenger is another bold move from Facebook to strike at the heart of Snapchat’s appeal. As of last July, Facebook Messenger notched 1 billion monthly active users, making it one of the most used pieces of software on the planet. By essentially cloning Snapchat’s most well-defined and popular features and transplanting them into its most-used apps, Facebook is hoping it can encourage users to start sharing more on its platforms and less on its competitors’.
The company did so brazenly last August with Instagram Stories, an almost carbon copy of Snapchat Stories. Facebook is also testing a revamped Snapchat-style camera for its main mobile app in Ireland. This new camera would sit in the corner of the screen and allow people to send messages that disappeared. In the Ireland test, the camera is already using many of the same features now available in this Messenger update. So it may not be long before we see a Snapchat-like camera in every Facebook property.