Facebook Messenger for iOS gets new AR experiences for video calls

Facebook announces today that Group Effects, which bring new AR experiences, are available on Messenger video calls and Messenger Room, and it will be coming soon to Instagram as well.

According to a blog post, these new AR experiences can “augment everyone on a video call at the same time, enabling a more fun and immersive way to connect with friends and family.”

There are over 70 Group Effects that users can enjoy while on a video call with a friend, ranging from a game where you compete to build the best burger to an effect with a cute orange cat that enters everyone’s screens.

Additionally, at the end of October, Facebook will expand access to the Spark AR Multipeer API to let more creators and developers build interactive effects for larger audiences while on a video call.

Group Effects also enable creators to bring their creative ideas to the Messenger video calling experience. Until now, many AR effects have been a solo experience, like augmenting a photo or video for Stories or Reels. We’re excited to see how creators, like Ross Wakefield who designed the “Blow the Dandelion” effect, expand their creativity with Group Effects, while also helping you deepen connections with friends and family in real-time. 

At the end of August, to celebrate 10 years of Messenger, the app got poll games, cash gifts, message effects, and more.

For example, Messenger users in the US can now send money over Facebook Pay through Messenger easier with integration from Facebook’s birthday calendar. The company also introduced a new birthday theme, AR effect, and birthday Soundmoji.

With this update, the company also made it easier to share Facebook contacts with friends over chat with a new Share Contact action.

What do you think about the new AR experiences for Facebook Messenger? Do you regularly use the app? Tell us in the comment section below.

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