If Snapchat wore army pants and flip flops, every other social media platform would probably buy army pants and flip flops. Facebook is testing out Olympics-themed animated selfie filters, similar to Snapchat's selfie Lenses, in Brazil and Canada. In addition to the filters, the new feature also opens the camera by default when users click on the Facebook app, just like Snapchat. If these features are well-received, they might become permanent staples of the Facebook app.
Starting today, iOS and Android users in Canada and iOS users in Brazil can open up their Facebook apps to reveal the default camerafeed screen, complete with themed "Go Canada!" filters or Brazilian flag face paint that uses facial recognition. Thankfully you can quickly exit this feature if your face isn't the first thing you want to see when checking your News Feed.
Facebook recently acquired Masquerade (written as MSQRD), an app that lets you add augmented reality filters to photos and videos. This move followed Snapchat's purchase of Looksery, which led to the creation of Snapchat Lenses. Sensing a pattern here?
After Instagram added its new Stories feature, CEO Kevin Systrom didn't hold back in telling TechCrunch that Snapchat deserves credit. Now, Facebook seems to be staking its claim in Snapchat's territory as well. This is after Facebook tried to buy Snapchat back in 2013 for a reported $3 billion, and Snapchat politely declined.
It's not likely that Facebook will steal away 150 million Snapchat users with these new camerafeed features. But the company is certainly making strides to stay popular with the teens, who, according to a 2016 study, use Snapchat as their primary social media platform.