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Oh snap Snapchat: Facebook acquires face-swapping app MSQRD

by Todd Haselton | March 9, 2016March 9, 2016 8:00 pm PDT

I was just playing around with MSQRD last night, making creepy faces of myself mixed with famous celebrities and sending them off to my friends. Now the company is owned by Facebook, according to Business Insider. This is big news, especially for Snapchat, which has been in the business for quite a while and also offers users an option to apply live filters to their faces.

Snapchat has, so far, done particularly well standing on its own. But, now that Facebook has scooped up MSQRD for an unannounced sum, it seems possible that the social network will work diligently to move in on Snapchat’s ground. MSQRD isn’t the same product… yet. Right now, it just allows users to apply live filters to their faces in photos and videos, which can then be friends.

However, Facebook, like Twitter, either acquires firms or creates its own version of popular apps to get in on valuable markets. Just look at Instagram, for example, which it acquired, or its new live-video-streaming service, which is meant to compete directly with Twitter’s Periscope.

The danger to Snapchat is that Facebook could introduce a UI that’s much easier for us “olds” to use, quickly creating an audience that could compete with Snapchat’s large but arguably younger population of users – the only ones who seem to be able to put up with the often confusing Snapchat interface.

“At Masquerade, we’ve worked hard to make video more fun and engaging by creating filters that enhance and alter your appearance,” Masquerade, which makes the app named MSQRD, said. “Now, we’re excited to join forces with Facebook and bring the technology to even more people. Within Facebook, we’re going to be able to reach people at a scale like never before.”

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...