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Facebook seems inspired by Snapchat, as the new feature is quite similar to Snapchat’s multiplayer AR video chat games, called Snappables, launched in April 2018. The only difference is that Snapchat transforms your whole screen using AR, taking you into space or a disco dance hall. On the other hand, Facebook AR games only overlay a few graphics on the world around you.
The new feature powered by AR Studio, a platform that was released last year at Facebook F8 which allows developers to build AR experiences for Facebook Camera. It lets you challenge up to six people at a time. There are currently two games rolled out namely, “Don’t Smile” and “Asteroids Attack”.
“Don’t smile” is a game where the person making the serious face for the longest time wins. In “Asteroids attack”, the person who is able to navigate their spaceship better, wins”. Facebook is planning to release more games in the future, such as Beach Bump and Kitten Craze.
You need to have the latest version of Messenger updated on your phones to be able to play these games. You can either open an existing conversation or find the person to chat with, then tap the video icon on the upper right corner of your phone screen. After this, you just need to tap the star button and select one of the AR games. This will notify the person you are chatting with to join you in the game.
Video chats in Messenger have been on the rise with over 17 billion video chats last year and twice as many as the year before. Also, Facebook seems to be quite invested in incorporating Augmented Reality into different aspects of its business. Last month, Facebook announced that it’s planning to launch AR ads on its news feed to let you try on products virtually.
Messenger is doing a good job of connecting people in real-time, and now, AR games are like the cherry on top which will help people create memories and have fun.