Tim Cook Snap

Remember six months ago when Snapchat introduced its crazy selfie lens feature that sort of went viral? Facebook wants in on the “how’d you do that” action too so it bought the recently launched app Masquerade (stylized as MSQRD) to instantly have access to its own selfie filter features. Masquerade, which only launched on iOS in December, works similarly to Snapchat’s filter feature seen above by using facial recognition over video to transform faces with comical filter effects.

Tech Insider first reported the acquisition; the developers behind the popular iOS app later confirmed the acquisition (without disclosing deal details) in a blog post. For Masquerade fans, the founders say to expect the app (which is also available on Android) to continue to be maintained with new features coming soon:

Now, we’re excited to join forces with Facebook and bring the technology to even more people. 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.

While we will be partnering with Facebook to integrate our technology, the app will stay up and running so you’ll continue to record fun selfies and keep using the product. You can also expect us to keep adding fun features!

Masquerade, which features technology that could easily make its way to Facebook’s own app, isn’t the first time the major social network has tried to take on its competitor Snapchat with similar features. Three years ago, Facebook turned its ‘poke’ feature from its website into a standalone app that worked a lot like Snapchat, but pulled it after few updates and little traction a year and a half later. Giving the whole Snapchat thing another shot, Facebook later introduced another standalone app called Slingshot, then fast-forward a year and a half later and that too disappeared.

But Masquerade’s outlook seems promising at least in the short-term, and their technology could easily be put to use throughout Facebook’s photo services and messaging apps like Instagram and Messenger, and the standalone Masquerade app sound like it has some new features in the pipeline for its fans. You can download Masquerade for free on the App Store.

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About the Author

Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created SpaceExplored.com.