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Friday, 21 April 2017 | MYT 8:00 AM

Augmented Reality: the battle between Facebook and Snapchat has begun

On the same day that Facebook announced its plans to move into augmented reality apps, Snapchat launched some new video filters. Snapchat has moved ahead of the social media giant by making its features available now. 

Last year, one of Mark Zuckerberg's main areas of interest was virtual reality (which Facebook and Oculus are continuing to work on). This year, he seems to be focusing his attention on augmented reality. The social network wants to develop its AR technology and reach a maximum number of people via smartphones rather than special headsets and glasses. This move has no doubt something to do with the success of Pokémon Go

On the first day of Facebook's F8 developers conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the Camera Effects Platform, a tool combining different technologies which enables virtual elements to be inserted into everyday situations via a smartphone's camera. He said that this could lead to new features on Facebook's mobile app by the end of the year. 

In fact, what Zuckerberg described is extremely similar to what Snapchat is offering with its new video filters that it has called World Lenses. These filters enable you to add 3D animated objects to your Snapchat messages via the latest update to the app. They're highly likely to become a bit hit with users. 

Note that augmented reality is not the only area in which Facebook and Snapchat are competing. For example, Facebook recently launched its own "stories," which are a collection of photos and videos that can be viewed by friends for a limited amount of time, as well as various masks and filters heavily inspired by Snapchat. — AFP Relaxnews