Facebook Messenger Adds a Camera With Filters, Emoji, and Other Snapchat-Like Features

Snapchat is a big deal all around the world, and Facebook continues to try and work its way into that magic spot with its own platform.

That latest effort, as reported by TechCrunch is a brand new camera feature put front-and-center in the standalone Messenger app. The new camera has a lot of different built-in features, almost all of which seems to, at least in one way or another, copy features found in other popular apps, including Snapchat.

That includes the ability to add digital masks and other graphics in real-time videos and selfies, the ability to add stickers and emoji on the fly, and even doodling over photos and videos with just a finger. The built-in camera can even allow users to apply a variety of different filters to stylize the captured images.

There are several new features in the Messenger Camera app, as outlined in the original report:

  • Swipe To Access: Just pull down from anywhere on the Messenger app’s inbox, hit the overlaid shutter button, or the camera icon in threads to open the camera. It sits behind your inbox as well as individual threads so you can instantly capture those spontaneous moments.
  • Stylized Shutter Button: To tip you off if there’s new seasonal creative tools you won’t want to miss, the normally transparent shutter button that sits atop your inbox will occasionally get bedazzled with holiday gift wrapping or other effects to let you know there are Santa hats and reindeer antlers to try on.
  • Shoot First, Pick Friends Later: Now instead of having to a pick a thread, then shoot a photo, you capture content first, then select all the different friends or group chats you want to send it to in a distribution screen reminiscent of Snapchat.
  • Selfie Masks, Style Transfers, And Effects: Before you shoot, you can add different Snapchat-style 3D selfie masks, filters that make your images look like paintings, and environmental effects.
  • Art Picker: After you shoot, tap on the Smiley icon atop the camera screen, and you’ll pull up a tray of all the different art you can add. They’re broken up into categories like “I’m Doing”, “I’m Feeling” and “Who’s Up For?”, which combine art and utility to turn boring text messages int eye-catching imagery so you’ll be more social.
  • Programmatic Frames: Type words into the Art Picker’s search box, and you’ll see pre-made art related to the meaning of your text. And if it’s a name, gibberish, or something Messenger doesn’t understand, it will algorithmically generate stylized filters that incorporate your words in fun fonts.
  • Props: Add some eyeglasses, a hat, or a beard with prop stickers you can paste on your face. Grab a multi-piece disguise and resize different pieces separately to fit your head.
  • Type, Doodle, Or Sticker: You can also spice up your images the old-fashioned way with overlaid text, drawing, or any of Facebook Messenger’s popular stickers.
  • Blank Canvas: If you don’t want to take a photo, you can swipe sideways or hit the palette button to create a solid color canvas to write on-top of or adorn with stickers that are already sent 2 billion times per day.

Facebook says the update to Messenger is beginning its rollout across the globe today, and it’s available for both iOS and Android.

How often do you use Facebook Messenger? Will this new addition make you use it more?


  • Facebook Messenger — Free
[via TechCrunch]