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Facebook adds more Snapchat-esque camera features for brands and users

Facebook adds more Snapchat-esque camera features for brands and users / Facebook

Facebook has rolled out a raft of new camera features for users and brands as it continues to edge closer to rival Snapchat.

The social network will now allow users to add effects to images they are uploading to the site, as well as send disappearing photos and videos to friends and stitch together their content to share via a 'Stories' platform.

The first of the features, dubbed Camera Effects, is similar to Snapchat Lenses and will let users adorn their selfies with interactive decals. Facebook has also announced it is partnering with brands to create stickers - or 'Masks' - for upcoming movies including Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 and Power Rangers.

Like Snapchat, Facebook says it will "regularly refresh the creative effects" in the camera and showcase featured work from visual artists like Douglas Coupland.

The second new tool Facebook is introducing is Stories, an ephemeral content service that will sit at the top of the news feed to let users share a chronological slideshow of videos and pictures with their friends. In addition to this an additional feature called Direct will let users send photos or videos to specific friends.

"Our goal is for the camera to be a home to hundreds of dynamic and fun effects that give you new ways to connect with friends, family, and your community," said Facebook product manger Connor Hayes in a blog post.

This isn't the first time Facebook has looked to Snapchat for inspiration, the platform has introduced several new features over the past 12 months on its core site as well as on sister apps Instagram and WhatsApp to stave off competition from its challenger.

Snapchat, which rejected a $3bn takeover bid from Facebook in 2013, boasts a predominantly young audience with 41% of 18- to 34-year-olds using the app every day. Earlier this week a report from Ampere Analysis claimed the platform's hold on the market means its poised to become more popular among advertisers by 2020 than AOL or Yahoo, however the study implied Facebook and Google will still pull in the lion's share of investment.

Speaking in August Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom was candid about the company lifting features from Snapchat, saying the company deserved "all the credit" for bringing filters to the forefront of social media.

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