Facebook follows in Snapchat's footsteps as it buys face-swapping app Masquerade

Facebook is set to integrate more silly selfies into users' news feeds with the purchase of Masquerade, one of the App Store's most popular titles.

Announcing the news in a blog post, Masquerade chief executive Eugene Nevgen said the firm was set to bring its facial mapping technology, which allows users to decorate their selfies with various overlays and 'swap' faces with other individuals and celebrities, to Facebook's 1.6 billion-strong user base.

While the social network plans to keep running the startup as a standalone app, the effects are also apparently braced to sit alongside Facebook's other features such as Stickers.

Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook to welcome the firm to the social behemoth's roster via a face-swap video in which he was clad as Iron Man; a movie he's drawing inspiration to create his AI butler.

Taking a break from coding to welcome the MSQRD team to Facebook!

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, 9 March 2016

According to Tech Insider, Masquerade's three founders Eugene Nevgen, Sergey Gonchar, and Eugene Zatepyakin will work out of Facebook's London office.

The move will bring the social giant in line with rival Snapchat, which launched a popular face-swapping Filter a few weeks ago.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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