Facebook Announces New Advances in VR and AR, Including AR Glasses Coming Next Year

By enabling all creators to build their own AR effects, Facebook then increases its capacity for hosting popular, even viral AR filters and tools – which has already seen both Facebook and Instagram benefit from user-created AR trends, like the ‘Which Disney Character Are You?’ and ‘2020 Predictions’ effects that went viral on Instagram earlier this year.[15]

Now, creators will also be able to make effects for Messenger and Portal, expanding their canvas for expression.

Facebook has also shared a brief overview[16] of coming AR ads for Instagram, including virtual ‘try-on’ ads for make-up, and an option to digitally place furniture in your home via AR tools.

AR Publisher Partnerships

News also remains a focus for Facebook, with the platform still developing and rolling out its dedicated news tab[17] in more regions.

And this could become a key element in driving its news push – Facebook has announced[18] a new partnership with The New York Times which will see Facebook co-develop AR filters and effects on Instagram in order to help users contextualize New York Times journalism.

As per Axios[19]:

“To get the partnership off the ground, The Times has built a dedicated “AR Lab” team within its research and development unit of more than a dozen employees. […] The first few filters from the launch series will include visual interactive pieces tied to the centennial of women’s suffrage, coverage of the California wildfires and air quality during the COVID-19 lockdown, as displayed in the picture above.

In some ways, this is similar to Facebook’s original push for its Instant Articles product[20], in that by using Facebook’s native, digital creation tools, publishers are then able to create more engaging, responsive and digitally native journalism, made specifically for the Facebook audience.

But AR tools are a whole other element, which could indeed make publisher created content more engaging, by adding interactive, contextual elements that help to communicate key elements. 

And with Facebook currently grappling with the role it plays in the distribution of news content, on various fronts, innovations like this could actually also work as a form of editorial control. By partnering with specific publishers, Facebook would have final say over who can participate in this program, which could help it amplify mainstream, reputable publications over less scrupulous outlets.

1 2 3 4 5 6