The arms race between Facebook and Snapchat has reached a new level, as Facebook announced on Thursday the launch of a new and improved native camera feature in its Messenger app that comes equipped with tons of filters.
The revamped take on the camera acts similarly to Snapchat’s popular filters, providing 3D masks, special effects, stickers and frames to make the photos stand out. The difference is, it’s built right into the massively popular Messenger app, meaning it’ll be available to the one billion active users who use the service.
One feature that does set Messenger apart from Snapchat is the inclusion of a feature that fancies up any text typed atop a photo or video. The app programmatically generates a unique style for the text to make it appear on screen, according to TechCrunch.
How To Use Messenger Camera
Messenger’s new camera is now basically always accessible. Pulling down from the top of the screen will bring up the camera. On the message inbox, a shutter button lives on bottom of center of the screen. When there are new filters or effects available, the button will be stylized to draw your attention.
Either of those methods allows a user to take a photo or video and choose recipients after. A camera button is also available in every chat for direct messages.
Like Snapchat, a tap will take a photo and a long hold will record a video once the camera screen is active.
Filters and effects—from 3D masks to environment modifiers—are available to be applied before you take your photo or video by tapping the smiley icon at the top of the screen before taking the photo.
After getting the perfect shot, art can be added by returning to the smiley icon. Tapping the icon will bring up a tray of art, which is divided into different categories. Scroll through pre-made text and animations and apply them to the photo or video. Stickers and props can also be found through this menu.
The Smiley icon also houses Messenger’s programmatic art generator, which will pick frames and effects based on text typed into its search box. If it doesn’t recognize the text or doesn’t have a related result, it will automatically create a stylized effect to make the text more interesting.
An icon that looks like a scribble allows users to draw atop a photo, while a text icon makes it easy to apply standard text, a la Snapchat.