Facebook Announces Expansion of AR Across its Apps at F8 2018

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We see hints of that at Facebook's event today, where the company introduced M Translations, an AI-powered tool that automatically translates languages into the user's default language. Heck, if you picked up a stick and tossed it somewhere in the general vicinity, the object it landed on would probably be a Facebook Messenger feature, which is why Facebook is streamlining and redesigning its product to focus on one thing - Messaging.

Kia's AR-enhanced Messenger bot.

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The feature will launch with English and Spanish translations of Marketplace conversations in the U.S. and will be extended to general Messenger use in coming weeks, the service said in a blog post.

With this launch, businesses large and small can leverage the Camera Effects Platform to easily integrate AR into their Messenger experience, bringing the virtual and physical worlds one step closer together. As part of a closed beta, Facebook is allowing a handful of brands to bring special AR filters to Messenger, such as Sephora, KIA, Nike and ASUS, allowing them to offer a number of AR overlays using the camera. Nike is using Messenger to drop a new pair of sneakers, giving people an exclusive sneak peek at them through a curated and visual red carpet experience.

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So while Sephora's bot could direct a potential customer to virtually try on different types of makeup, Nike could show off how a new shoe looks from any angle, and Kia could make a virtual auto appear in your driveway. Marketers can place ads directly in the service, and Facebook sells ads in its News Feed that connect to Messenger conversations. On the back end, Facebook has been growing its data center footprint and building the infrastructure it needs to accommodate more immersive content, such as live video, 360 photos and AR and VR. Facebook partnered up with Sketchfab, which provides a library of models you can download and use in your own projects. "Messenger is gaining momentum at scale as we continue to invest in new platform features", David Marcus, VP of Facebook Messenger, said on stage.

Facebook also announced that it is updating its AR creation software AR Studio. It's launching now in closed beta on Instagram and Messenger and is coming soon to Facebook Lite.

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