Facebook has grand plans to continue expanding and improving its live video platform this year, starting with support for face-swapping app MSQRD. In the coming weeks, you can go live on Facebook from the MSQRD app and utilize its many different Snapchat-like masks and filters while the video is running. Facebook first acquired Masquerade, the Belarusian startup behind MSQRD, back in March with the intention to "continue enhancing the Facebook video experience," a spokesperson for the social network said at the time. Fidji Simo, Facebook’s director of product, announced MSQRD integration today at VidCon, the annual online video conference in Anaheim, CA.
In one sense, Facebook's move is another amplification in the ongoing video and messaging war the company is waging against Snapchat. Last year, Snapchat purchased facial recognition startup Looksery to build out its selfie lens store, and Looksery helped Snapchat development a face-swap technology similar to MSQRD's. The goal is to make video, whether recorded or broadcast live, as dynamic and appealing as possible. Snapchat's lenses have been a huge hit, so it's no wonder Facebook has acted fast to incorporate MSQRD technology into its fast-growing Live platform.
The Facebook-Snapchat video war heats up
Facebook had a few other Live announcements to make as well. Starting later this summer, you'll be able to invite a friend to "drop in" on a live broadcast. "There are tons of new possibilities with this format: interviews, debates, duets, collaborations, and more," Facebook wrote in a press release. The company will also soon let you schedule a live broadcast, and it's built out a lobby system so people can hangout before one starts. Both features will launch later this summer for owners of Verified Pages, but Facebook expects to make them widely available shortly thereafter.