10th March 2016
 

The biggest social networking company in the world has purchased Masquerade, a startup based in Belarus, which only launched late last year, and allows users to swap faces with hilarious results.

Msqrd’s popularity has exploded exponentially recently, as people jump on the face-swapping bandwagon. This can also be done on Snapchat, who Facebook unsuccessfully tried to purchase in 2013 for $3bn, reportedly, showing that Facebook is looking to provide stern competition to Snapchat.

The price Facebook has paid out to purchase Masquerade has not been disclosed, but you would imagine it was a very sizeable sum, based on how well the app has been performing in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The photo-editing app’s software enables users’ to apply filters in real-time, to change their appearance. This includes swapping faces with someone next to the user, replacing your face with a cartoon, animal, celeb, and then taking a photo or filming a video of the change, which you can then share with friends and family.

The announcement was made in a blog post by Eugene Nevgen, the CEO of Masquerade. He highlighted the huge benefits this can have on the company, saying: “For starters, we’ll be able to bring out technology to Facebook’s audience of nearly 1.6 billion people. This is a scale of audience we never imagined was possible.”

Facebook has confirmed the app will still be run as a standalone program, and a spokesperson for the social media giant said: “Masquerade has built a fantastic app, MSQRD, with world-class imaging technology for video. We’re excited to welcome Masquerade to our team and continue enhancing the Facebook video experience.”