Two weeks ago Facebook rushed to publish two new AR features: Frame Studio & Camera effects. As always, any expansion on AR is a good thing. That said, Mr. Zuckerberg himself said -during the introduction- that those features will take time to be deployed, they just wanted to show the roadmap of the possible evolution of AR within their products. As of this writing these two features are not finished, not even available to everybody.
After the craziness of Pokemon Go -which certified people using AR outdoors-, some companies lost the fear of putting AR within their apps/products. Chief among them Snap. Which brings us back to Facebook, like any giant company, they have many fronts to take care of. Snap is growing and has an estimate of +200 million users, an audience not to ignore and certainly not to underestimate. Only in this regard Facebook needs to do something to try to stop Snap’s growth. Let’s remember that Facebook’s latest hits were not conceived within Facebook itself: Instagram & WhatsApp. Putting AR within Facebook territories might slow the grow of Snap, or -better for them- might help them captures new audiences.
Remember that Apple bought an AR company about two years ago, and still has not published anything related … yet. But they will. In this matter, Facebook making some noise about AR steals some thunder of any possible AR announcement by Apple. Under this scenario, instead of Apple being a pioneer (which they rarely are), they would look like a me too. Nothing wrong with Apple coming “late” to the party.
Let’s not forget Meta or Microsoft, both of them with shipping products.
As we always said: AR is the way we’ll interact with machines, this rush of many tech companies embracing it, is just accelerating that trend. So if you didn’t like people walking like zombies while playing Pokemon Go, well, get used to it 🙂