Well everyone, now you can have your Facebook masks and make 'em, too. Mark Zuckerberg announced today that Facebook Camera Effects will let developers create their own Facebook masks, and that the platform, called AR Studio, is currently in beta testing. What that means for the rest of us non-developers in the world is that Facebook will allow people outside of the company to design masks for the site, making the effects more customizable and unique than any other social media platform offering a similar effect.
The beta is closed right now, but is successful, this would be the tool that really set Facebook Stories out of the pack — particularly because, at its launch, it didn't offer anything that either Instagram and Snapchat didn't already. It would allow developers to use the same augmented reality that filters use to create images on faces or in frames, with a personal element to it — opening the door to a whole host of possibilities for developers to expand the technology or even monetize it, as well as open the door to new possibilities Facebook's audience for Stories.
Facebook shared a video with a preview of what AR Studio will look like on its Facebook For Developers page on Tuesday.
According to Tech Cruch, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerburg shared that the AR Studio could allow users not just on making masks, but on creating location-based experiences, like frames for certain stores, ratings for businesses, or even games. It wouldn't be too far of a stretch to imagine that in the future, users could pay developers to create custom masks for events like birthday parties, graduations, or weddings, as well.
Developers can apply to the AR Studio beta through Facebook for access to its tools, which has already attracted high-profile clients like Manchester United, EA Games, and Nike. With the combined ability to use location, facial recognition, overlays, and interactive touch-screen games, the sky really is the limit wth this new tool — and now that Facebook is starting to give users the reigns, it may be only a matter of time before location-based Facebook filters eclipse the ones offered on other platforms. There may be a Google Earth canvassing reality, but Facebook Stories might be right behind, invisibly mapping it with augmented reality just the same.