Why Facebook is giving itself Masquerade selfies
The selfie becomes a business like any other. Facebook has just bought the American application MSQRD, which allows its users to take pictures of themselves while adding animated filters in real time. Created in 2010, it allows for example to add “celebrity masks”, to superimpose special effects or to exchange faces between friends.
“We are delighted to welcome Masquerade to our team and we continue to improve the Facebook video experience,” a spokesperson for the social network told Tech Insider. “Within Facebook, we’re going to be able to reach people on a scale like never before. For starters, we will be able to bring our technology to the audience of nearly 1.6 billion people at Facebook, ”added Eugene Nevgen, CEO of Msqrd, in a comment. blog post.
The Snapchat response
For Facebook, it is first and foremost to compete with Snapchat a little more. The ephemeral photo and video sharing social network, very popular with young people and which announced a few days ago that it had raised 175 million dollars. It has moreover escaped on several occasions from the firm of Mark Zuckerberg which tried to acquire it; he was even prepared to spend $ 3 billion in 2013.
It must be said that Snapchat is a master in the art of capturing the attention of its users. The network of more than 100 million members is ahead of Facebook in terms of interaction between recipients, emotions, and recurrence of content, as shown by expert Todd Brison.
Facial recognition at all costs
It is also on this emotional dimension that Facebook recently decided to position itself. After its “Like” became commonplace, Facebook erected the wall of emotions with five new emoticons to react to publications. A development that should first help the social network to refine the profiling of its users. By knowing their reactions, Facebook will be able to qualify its data, positive, negative or neutral, vis-à-vis a push. What to precisely inform potential advertisers.
Masquerade’s grimaced selfies should also help increase user engagement. While the automatic facial recognition of “Facebook Moments” is active in the United States, it remains banned in Europe. In the end, Masquerade would allow Facebook to collect facial recognition data, while each user posts their face or that of a recipient there in order to be able to customize it, and of course identify it.
In France, the free application that appeals to young people regularly climbs into the Top 20 downloads according to AppAnnie.