Short Bytes: At Facebook’s F8 annual developer conference, Facebook and Snapchat’s cold war heated up. Mark Zuckerberg called “Camera” the first mainstream augmented reality platform. He also said that Facebook isn’t worried about “no innovation” allegations and defended copying Snapchat by saying that it was the ground work for Facebook’s Camera Effects Platform for developers.Unlike Facebook, Snapchat is an app that puts camera first. But, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is trying hard to fill that gap and he doesn’t care if copying Snapchat is involved in the process. Now, after replicating Snapchat’s popular AR filters, Facebook is aiming to go one step further and use its army of developers to make this war more vicious.
At the F8 developer conference, Zuckerberg said that the first step that made sense was to release products that people already knew about, which sounded like a way to justify the copying. So, what would be the second step?
“We’re not just going to build basic cameras, we’re going to build the first mainstream augmented reality platform,” Zuckerberg said. The word “basic camera” is a direct jab at Snapchat.
He also added that Facebook is developing Camera (read Facebook Camera) as the first augmented reality platform. “For those of you watching us roll out cameras (read copying Snapchat) across all our platforms, that was act one. This is act two,” he added.
Ever since Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel turned down Zuckerberg’s attempt to buy his company, Facebook is on a copying spree. Facebook added special effects cameras to its core apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. It even brought Snapchat stories to these apps.
When Zuckerberg was asked if Facebook had stopped innovating, he said that the company was preparing its products for the unified Camera Effects Platform. He also said that he isn’t worried about people’s perception of Facebook being a copycat.
“I guess I’m not that worried about that. I mean, I feel like we do different kinds of work in different areas.”
While Snapchat’s offering to developers is limited to geofilters, Facebook has invited its worldwide developer community to use its tools to create geofilters, filters, masks, etc. The company has released the closed beta of its AR Studio platform, which will be ‘open’ in later stages. It has also released the Frame Studio that will let the developers create frames for photos and videos.
But, this isn’t it. Zuckerberg also hinted at some Spectacle-like hardware in near future. “I used to think that glasses were going to be the first mainstream augmented reality,” he said.
Moreover, he didn’t hesitate from taking a jibe at Snapchat CEO’s alleged remark that Snapchat is “only for rich people.” “I think one thing that people probably don’t think about as much as we do is innovation to serve everyone in the community, not just the high end, right?” Zuckerberg said.