Augmented reality is coming to Facebook. The social media network is currently partnering with production companies in Hollywood to promote big budget movies through a new advertising feature called animated masks.
According to AdAge, the new ad format takes a page out of Snapchat’s advertising ideas book and comes on the back of Facebook Live which uses filters to enable users to add special effects to their videos and photos. So far though, brands weren’t able to make use of it.
That could change with branded masks. The first adverts to implement AI for an engaging mobile experience may be tested as early as March 2017.
Arguably, the move adds pressure to Snapchat, which has been rather creative when it comes to new advertising formats. If Facebook starts offering similar products, it may become harder for Snap Inc to compete with the social media giants’ massive audiences and targeting features. The only way Snapchat, which is preparing for an IPO this year, may be able to distinguish itself is through a predominantly younger audience.
But Colleen Leddy, Head of Communications Strategy at marketing agency Droga5, cautions:
“With Facebook, there’s such scale there. The more you can do on Facebook, the more appealing it becomes. So based on client goals and what our audience is doing on Facebook, we’d look at all the options.”
It’s not the first time Facebook has borrowed from Snapchat. Indeed, Stories are a feature first introduced by Snapchat and now Facebook is testing a similar feature across its app.
Paul Marcum, President of digital marketing agency, Truffle Pig, believes that Facebook is being rather smart by making its advertising products more fun.
“If lenses can get people giddy about a brand and they are willing to play with it, that’s a really good promotional stage.”