Messenger Just Added an Augmented Reality Feature and It's Freakin' Awesome

Facebook launches holiday and New Year's features for the festive season

Facebook is bringing a handful of World Effects at launch.

"We want artists, developers, brands and more creators to be able to build and share unbelievable AR experiences", writes Facebook director Ficus Kirkpatrick. In order to boost the functions popularity, Facebook recently opened it up, allowing users to cross-post to Facebook Stories from Instagram and Messenger, but the solution still lags behind its other platforms.

"We're going to make the camera the first mainstream augmented reality platform", said Zuckerberg when launching Camera Effects. Developers will be able to use it to create 3D digital objects that can be placed into images, both on surfaces and in ways that allow for interactions within physical space.

For regular users, that means they'll soon be able to overlay 3D objects on top of images and videos in their interactions with friends.

Augmented Reality is taking the world by storm, from fun apps on the iPhone to Google's Tango, nearly everyone can now access the different types of AR apps and software out there.

World Effects are basically Facebook's clone of Snap's World Lenses, but one problem Snap has is a lack of resources versus what its much more established rival has. "By opening AR Studio to all creators, we're taking steps towards making AR more a part of everyday life".

To add a World Effect, open the Messenger Camera from the inbox and then scroll to choose from the camera effects and pick an effect and then tap to add it to your image. You can use the heart, arrow, robot, unicorn, and even world bubbles like "love", "bae", "heart", and "miss you".

Essentially, Facebook's best lure to developers is its inherent reach thanks to a massive baked-in audience.

Adding a World Effect is pretty easy, if you're used to using filters and stickers on your photo or video. But by crowdsourcing development, Facebook could eventually offer AR experiences connected to any location, real-world object, holiday or activity.