Facebook’s adding AR and translation tools to Messenger

facebook messenger ar

It’s F8 week, and that means plenty of Facebook news. The company’s annual developer conference is also pretty important for users of the social network’s other properties, as a slew of announcements, projects and roadmaps are usually revealed to the public.

For those running businesses and rely heavily on Facebook Messenger, there are two big announcements to be aware of.

Be warned: Facebook’s shoving AR into everything this year, and its messaging service isn’t exempt. Instead, the company’s claiming that AR will soon be useful for companies using Messenger as a sales and advertising platform.

Through the Camera Effects Platform, businesses can use AR in Messenger to help potential consumers visualise or even use products.

In addition to ASUS “unboxing” products and Kia showcasing its new ride, “Nike is using Messenger to drop a new pair of sneakers, giving people an exclusive sneak peek at them through a curated and visual red carpet experience,” Facebook explains.

“And Sephora is making trying on new makeup easier than ever with a selection of looks to try on and share.”

This ties into the increasing dominance of visual media in Messenger. Facebook notes that more than 500-billion emoji and 18-billion GIFs are shared on the platform annually.

Translations are also heading to Messenger, and we’ll see a return of the “M” name too (remember? The name of Facebook’s digital assistant?)

Primarily for businesses, those who receive messages from others through Marketplace in another language will receive a request for a translation, or what Facebook’s calling an M Translation.

For now, it’s limited to English-Spanish in the US, but the feature will roll out across the world in time.

Feature image: Facebook

Andy Walker, former editor


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