What you need to know
- Facebook's "Group Effects" AR experiences are now available on Messenger video calls and Messenger Rooms.
- Group Effects will soon be coming to Instagram as well.
- The new AR experiences make it possible to augment everyone on a video call at the same time.
Facebook has started rolling out new AR experiences to video calls on Messenger and Messenger Rooms. The social networking giant claims the new "Group Effects" will make video calls on its platform a lot more entertaining and fun.
Group Effects finally make it possible to augment everyone on a video call, enabling a "more fun and immersive way to connect with friends and family." While the new AR experiences are limited to Messenger and Messenger Rooms right now, Facebook says they will soon be available on Instagram as well.
Users can choose from over 70 Group Effects, including a game where "you compete to build the best burger to an effect with a cute orange cat that enters everyone's screens."
To try out the new Group Effects, start a video call or create a room in the Messenger app. Next, tap the smiley face and choose Group Effects from the effects tray.
In addition to new AR experiences, Facebook Messenger is getting new "suggested word effects" as well. The feature triggers an animation within a chat when you send a message like "happy birthday" or "congrats."
Facebook had first announced the feature in August this year. It is now rolling out to users on iOS and is expected to become available on the best Android phones in the coming weeks.
Some of the other new features that are rolling out to Facebook Messenger include new James Bond "soundmojis," four haunted world AR effects for Halloween, and a bunch of new chat themes.
Facebook has also announced that it will be expanding its Spark AR Multipeer API to enable more developers to build Group Effects. The API allows all creators and developers to create dynamic, real-time interactive effects to enhance the video calling experience for users.