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Facebook Acquires Selfie Filter App Masquerade to Make Videos More Fun

Facebook has acquired the popular selfie filter app Masquerade, also known as MSQRD, which allows users to record video selfies, complete with mask overlays that make you look like a famous actor, a movie villain, or just add funny glasses.

Masquerade launched on iOS in 2015 and quickly became one of the most popular selfie apps on the platform. The startup launched an Android version of the app earlier this month.

Masquerade’s CEO Eugene Nevgen announced the acquisition on the startup’s website Wednesday, explaining that the app would remain up and running. However, the ultimate goal of Facebook is to integrate some of Masquerade’s technology into its own products, with a likely focus being video.

“At Masquerade, we’ve worked hard to make video more fun and engaging by creating filters that enhance and alter your appearance,” Nevgen said. “Now, we’re excited to join forces with Facebook and bring the technology to even more people.”

Masquerade seems uniquely positioned to quickly bring some of its technology to video chats in Facebook’s Messenger, or add some fun to the company’s live streaming efforts. The startup has not just built a single selfie app, but actually also developed an API that makes it possible to bring some of its face-tracking and real-time rendering technologies to other apps.

Overlays like the ones used by Masquerade aren’t entirely new: Google has been offering similar effects as part of its Hangouts video messenger for some time. However, with Facebook’s increasing focus on video views, it’s likely that we’ll get to see some of these effects show up in people’s timelines sooner or later as well.


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