Facebook today announced a new feature for its Messenger app: augmented reality (AR) games in video chats. These games will allow up to 6 people to play together and compete in real-time during a video call. Right now, the company is introducing the self-explanatory Don't Smile and Asteroid Attack, which tests each player's ability to steer a spaceship using their face.
More games are planned for the coming weeks and months, including the beach ball-passing game Beach Bump and a "matching cat" game called Kitten Kraze.
If the idea of AR games in a social app sounds familiar to you, it may be because, earlier this year, Snpachat launched Snappables, its own offering of cooperative and competitive games played using a phone's camera and the user's face. Snap Inc. is also said to be looking into the possibility of launching its own gaming platform, though it's unclear if that's related to AR or not.
Facebook has developed a bit of a reputation for copying features from Snapchat, and the strategy seems to have worked out fairly well for the social network. Whether or not that will be the case with AR games remains to be seen, but it wouldn't be surprising if it were to happen.
VIa: Business Insider