Facebook launched a new Camera Effect Platform in closed beta at its F8 conference back in April, and has been getting feedback - and special effects - from developers since then. The word from the outside must have been positive because the company has now launched an open beta for its platform and its AR Studio tool to developers worldwide.
Before the release, about 2,000 different developers and brands had been experimenting with the technology. In Messenger, we've seen fire-breathing, bearded wizards, psychedelic shades, and cats resting on people's heads. HBO even let users be the Night King as part of the Season 7 finale for Game of Thrones.
Now the tech is out to even more developers, meaning that we could soon see some sponsored effects with specific branding floating around our heads or those of friends and family pets.
"By opening AR Studio to all creators, we’re taking steps towards making AR more a part of everyday life. We’ve been continuously advancing the capabilities of the platform, with improved face tracking, new graphics capabilities, better scripting, and now world effects," Ficus Kirkpatrick, Facebook's director of engineering, said in a statement. "This is only the beginning, and we can’t wait to see how creators bring art to life through AR Studio."
The company also released its own World Effects creations, offering such things as unicorns, chat bubbles and robots. It is similar to Snapchat's World Lenses, and Facebook is hoping it will be as popular, especially now that more developers will have access - something Snapchat has been somewhat reluctant to do.
Facebook is also banking on the feature being more popular than Facebook Stories, which shouldn't be hard.