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Facebook Live Video Will Soon Let You Broadcast Wearing a Virtual Mask

Facebook is rolling out three new features for Facebook Live, as the social giant continues to heavily invest in building out the video-broadcast platform to be more engaging — and fun.

The company revealed the new features on Thursday at the 2016 VidCon conference in Anaheim, Calif., in hopes of catching the attention of top digital influencers in attendance.

The first feature will let users add different masks and effects to live broadcasts using the MSQRD animated-selfie app from Masquerade Technologies, a Belarus-based startup Facebook acquired in March. The app transforms someone’s appearance into a mime, skeleton or panda, for example, akin to Snapchat’s selfie lenses.

In the next few weeks, users of the MSQRD app will be able to go live on Facebook directly from the app, and allow them to change masks while live. Initially, it will be available on iOS. MSQRD currently features an overlay that turns you into an orc from Universal Pictures’ “Warcraft.”

In addition, Facebook Live later this summer will allow users to hold a live broadcast with another person. That, according to the company, will enable new kinds of broadcasts, such as interviews, debates, duets and collaborations. Facebook will launch the feature for Verified Pages of public figures and celebs, with a wider rollout in the future.

Also this summer, Facebook Live users schedule a live video, giving viewers the option to choose get notified when the broadcast is starting or, if the broadcast is starting shortly, to join a “lobby” to wait for the broadcast to start. Joining the lobby lets viewers connect with other fans via comments before the video starts. That’s also going to be available at first only for Verified Pages.

Facebook first launched live video capabilities last August, exclusively for celebrities and public figures, and has since broadened Facebook Live to users worldwide. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is bullish on live video, saying earlier this year that it is “one of the things I am most excited about, because it’s so raw and so visceral.”

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