Facebook is experimenting with a new feature on its app that gives users easier access to its camera and accommodates filters and stickers, as the company steps up competition with Snapchat.
The capability, currently available to users in Canada and Brazil, has been timed to align with the start of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and opens up users to Snapchat-like camera features when they access the “what’s on your mind” field in the app.
It is also the first time the company has incorporated technology from video effects company MSQRD, which it acquired in March, according to The Verge.
News of the test comes less than a week after Facebook owned-Instagram launched Stories, allowing users to share photos and video with a 24-hour life span in a slideshow format, bearing a strong resemblance to rival Snapchat’s signature feature.
Images and videos created using the new features are added to the News Feed on the users’ profile in the same way as other posts. And the move is yet another sign of the company’s growing commitment to accommodating video on the platform.
In the company’s recent Q2 results statement, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company was moving “towards a world where video is at the heart of all our services”.
“People are increasingly sharing via videos and photos on Facebook and beyond,” added Facebook in a statement. “And it’s our job to create experiences that help people create and share in the ways that they want.”