Let’s be real here: you’re probably not using Facebook Stories at all. Instagram Stories? Hell yeah you are. But at the moment that lil Facebook Stories row is probably populated mostly by your mum, who accidentally tapped it when she was trying to share an absolutely on-point Minions meme.
Well, according to Mack Zuckerberg, the Facebook Stories platform isn’t just a mindless ripoff of Snapchat – and they’ve unveiled their roadmap for something that is admittedly pretty cool and ambitious: The Facebook Camera Effects platform. This is Facebook’s crack at accessible augmented reality – basically amping up the basic concept of Snapchat’s wildly popular selfie effects to the next level.
Zuck showed off a bunch of stuff that really did look like amped up Snapchat effects, as you can see in the image below:
But there’s a lot more to it. Facebook’s got a lot of underlying tech they’re utilising to make the Camera Effects platform immersive – like the ability to recognise objects in-frame. Like – for example – a coffee mug. The camera identifies that the thing you’re pointing at is a coffee mug, and can serve you all kinds of effects based on the fact its a coffee mug. Like a burst of confetti from inside the mug, or something like that.
They’re also playing with the classic AR tactic of inserting semi-real looking 3D objects into the camera frame too, so you can pretend you’re sitting on a couch that isn’t there. Your friends are gonna be so jealous when it looks like you’ve got a sweet new 3D couch! Booya!
You’ll also potentially be able to ‘leave’ digital objects behind at specific locations that your mates (or loathed enemies) can then find and interact with using their own cameras. Basically, it sounds like a horrifying intersection between that dog ears Snapchat filter and Pokemon Go. This is what we need.
The point here is that any developer can get in there and create camera effects – it’s not just provided by Facebook. There’s also the very strong possibility we could see this stuff pop up in Instagram too, for deployment on a platform people actually use the Stories feature on. Pretty wild. The developer video for the new feature – while obviously targeted at developers – gives a glimpse at what some of these early filters might look like or do:
Keep an eye out – this stuff is rolling out soon.