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Facebook Experiments with Camera-first Layout

Tim Maytom

facebook msqrd olympic testFacebook has been testing a new version of its flagship app that adopts a Snapchat-style layout prioritising the camera, encouraging users to take more photos and videos which can be shared on the social network.

The test version of the app, which is available in Canada and Brazil, also marks the first time that Facebook has incorporated technology from Msqrd, the video effects app it acquired in March, which it is using to add filters, lenses and stickers to images and video captured.

The change comes just days after Instagram introduced Snapchat-style 'stories' to its app, and shows Facebook's growing concerns over its ability to capture the attention of young users who are increasingly migrating to new apps.

The tests are themed around the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, with filters enabling users to add details like Brazilian flags or "Go Canada!" facepaint to their videos, as well as adding static graphic overlays.

The tests are being run on both iOS and Android versions of the app, and demonstrate Facebook's ongoing commitment to place video content at the centre of its offering. By encouraging more users to create more video content, it speeds the transition to a video-centric app, and also provides Facebook with more user-generated content produced using its own platform, rather than linked to from rival services like YouTube.

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