It’s a face-off of the filters as Facebook snaps up Masquerade

10 Mar 2016

Facebook is buying Masquerade, whose technology lets you put real-time filters on your selfies, in a move that will up the ante against Snapchat

Facebook is upping the ante in its battle against Snapchat for young users by buying Masquerade, a software company whose technology lets you put real-time filters on your selfie photos and videos.

Masquerade is one of the most popular apps in the App Store and on Google Play and lets users overlay animated filters over their faces using their smartphone’s selfie camera.

Currently, Snapchat is leading the charge in amusing the masses with photo filters that let users swap faces and much more.

Social networking giant Facebook, which has more than 1.5bn active users overall, with most of them now on mobile, intends to keep Masquerade operational as a standalone free app, as well as integrating the technology into its own products.

Facebook is most likely to eventually add Masquerade to its popular Messenger app, which has more than 800m active users.

Selfie revolution

Masquerade lets you add real-time filters to photos and videos

Masquerade lets you add real-time filters to photos and videos

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition via a video on Facebook where he appears as Iron Man and interrupts coding of his AI project to break the news and show off the real-time filter abilities.

“At Masquerade, we’ve worked hard to make video more fun and engaging by creating filters that enhance and alter your appearance,” said CEO its Eugene Nevgen.

“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. For starters, we’ll be able to bring our technology to Facebook’s audience of nearly 1.6bn people. This is a scale of audience we never imagined was possible.

“While we will be partnering with Facebook to integrate our technology, the app will stay up and running so you’ll continue to record fun selfies and keep using the product.

“You can also expect us to keep adding fun features!” Nevgen promised.


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years