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In perhaps what is the most spooky way of announcing an acquisition, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, announced that the company has acquired Masquerade, known as MSQRD, an app that adds live filters to smartphone images and video. Zuckerberg made the announcement whilst using the app and looking like Iron Man and coding his own AI, which he had promised to build earlier this year.
The financials around the deal are not known, with both companies keeping mum on the issue.
MSQRD, an app built by Belarusian startup Masquerade, is a live filter for video and selfies. The app allows users to overlay selfies and videos with animated filters, ranging from celebrity faces, adding a monkey face and swapping faces with friends.
Announcing the news, MSQRD wrote on its blog
“Within Facebook, we’re going to be able to reach people at a scale like never before. For starters, we’ll be able to bring our technology to Facebook’s audience of nearly 1.6 billion people. This is a scale of audience we never imagined was possible”
At the Q&A in Berlin a few weeks ago, Zuckerberg made it clear that video was becoming an integral part of the Facebook experience and this acquisition falls in line with bolstering its live video offering. With Meerkat having shut down its live video streaming app, Facebook appears to be gunning for those stranded users before they latch on to Periscope and Snapchat.
Facebook Live video, as of last week, will show first on News Feed, meaning there is now more chances of it being seen by Facebook users. Though the company has not shared any details of its plans with MSQRD, streaming a live video on Facebook will be a lot of fun. The company can also integrate MSQRD into Messenger, allow users to send selfies using MSQRD filters.
MSQRD announced that the app will remain a stand alone app and will even see new features being introduced to it.