Facebook has taken yet another page out of Snapchat’s book with its latest feature – location-based 'Camera Effect' frames, which work similarly to Snapchat's geofilters.
In a point of differentiation from Snapchat, users will be able to create and share their own frames that anyone can then add to their pictures and videos.
After creating the frame in their favourite design tool, users can upload it to Facebook, arrange each element on a canvas then preview how their work will look in different sizes. Once happy, the artist adds details to the frame and submits for review – which Facebook say typically takes a week.
If the frame is approved and activated, people can begin adding it to photos and videos on the site. Facebook will provide users with stats to show how the frame is performing.
The frames are initially available to people in the UK, Ireland, Colombia, Mexico and Taiwan. Ireland – where Facebook’s Snapchat-like in-app camera is currently being trialled – is the only market to offer location-based frames, which are only triggered when the user is within the chosen geo-fenced area.
There's an opportunity here for businesses to use the frames as an organic marketing tool, by rewarding visitors to their physical locations with exclusive in-app content. There's no word whether they will be available as a paid product for advertisers, as Snapchat started doing with its geofilters last year.
Nevertheless, the feature is just the latest step Facebook has taken to become more like the younger and trendier Snapchat, since its failed acquisition attempt in 2013. In the past few months alone, Facebook has acquired FacioMetrics, a facial analysis startup – with the likely intention of using it for face swapping and live video ‘lens’ effects – and started work on a feature called ‘Collections’ to rival Snapchat’s Discover.