Facebook has copied another one of Snapchat’s features, and this time it brings augmented reality games to Messenger video chats. Facebook Messenger now has two AR games that users can play with their friends during a video call. This feature is similar to Snappables announcedby Snapchat in April this year. Snappables are a new form of interactive lenses through which Snapchatters can share experiences and experiment with AR, and is available in Snapchat’s Lens Carousel, on the left side of the circular capture button.
The Facebook Messenger app is rolling out these AR Games for all users starting today. Users will need to update to the latest version of Messenger, get onto a video call with their friend, and then tap the star button on their screen and select one of the AR games. The person on the other end of the video call will get a notification that you’ve started the game, and both the users can then indulge in some play time. Facebook notes on its blog that up to six people can play these multiplayer video chat AR games simultaneously.
Facebook has launched two AR games as of now – ‘Don’t Smile’ will see who can hold a serious face the longest, and ‘Asteroid Attack’ will see who can better navigate their spaceship. It is planning to add more games in the future, and the ones in the pipeline include ‘Beach Ball’, a game where users can pass a beach ball back and forth, and ‘Kitten Kraze’ – a matching cat game.
Facebook also announced that over 17 billion video chats were made in 2017, twice as many as the year before. With this surge in video chat calls, Facebook will look to introduce more interactive features like these into its Messenger app.