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Facebook Messenger Launches All-New AR Group Effects

Turn your next group video call into an instant party with the cool new AR group effects on Facebook Messenger.

Augmented reality has taken up an integral space in the social media experience today. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have long mastered the technology to give us a wide variety of experiences using AR. The AR filters on Snapchat are a particularly prominent example of how AR can transform our social networking experience and entertainment. Joining the fun, Facebook is also upping their AR game by extending it to Messenger.

Facebook Messenger
The instant messaging service from the social media giant, known as Messenger, is one of the most popular platforms for chatting. In addition, one can send media files, voice notes, and documents personally using Messenger. Along with messaging, the chat service has also enabled voice calling, video calling, and group calling features in recent years. The latest addition to offerings, as per an official press release from Facebook, is AR group effects.

The said feature is available on both Messenger and Messenger Rooms. The feature will allow users to interact with each other using a variety of AR-powered experiences during group video calls.

Group Effect
AR effects are not new to Messenger users. As you might already know, one could put on an AR beard, quirky glasses, or even a cute animal face while interacting with others via video calls. However, the existing AR feature could only be applied to a single user, whereas the new Group Effect will allow sticking the funny effects to everyone in the group. It could be a simple face filter or even an interactive multiplayer game, you can now turn your group video chats into fun sessions using these AR effects.

Multiplayer gaming
The Group Effects are developed using Facebook’s Spark AR Multipeer API. Compared to standard AR face filters, Messenger’s AR Group Effects offer something more exciting. Although there is no shortage of such face filters, you can also enjoy multiplayer gaming experiences in real-time with your friends and family despite the remote locations. This includes a mini burger-stacking game as well as a cute cat exploring the nooks and corners of the screen while you have the group call ongoing. As of now, more than 70 AR Group Effects are available on Facebook Messenger and Messenger Rooms.

Improving communication
The Facebook Messenger team said in its official release that the new AR Group Effects will provide a more interactive and engaging way of communicating with people in remote locations. The press release states that in an age where video calling has become more popular than ever, the AR Group Effects will play an instrumental role to make communication more exciting, intimate, and memorable. It will also give the creator community more freedom to express themselves and develop more interesting content for the users to enjoy. Facebook revealed that the Spark AR Multipeer API will be made available for developers later this year to allow them to create more interesting filters.

Facebook also has plans to launch these AR effects on Instagram soon. For now, you can check them out on Facebook Messenger and Messenger Rooms.


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