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Facebook launches camera platform for developers to encourage AR

IANS | New York |

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the two-day annual F8 developer conference launched a platform for developers to encourage augmented reality (AR) camera effects.

Zuckerberg stressed that AR-powered camera effects would change the way people interact with friends on the social network.

According to a report in Time on Tuesday, AR-powered camera effects will be launching in a closed beta starting immediately. Dozens of AR-powered effects, like masks and frames, will be available within the Facebook app's camera.

With an AR platform, users will be able to leave a virtual note for a friend at a restaurant or create artwork that appears on a building wall when looking at it with your phone.

Th social networking giant will launch software to help developers create such experiences called AR Studio.

Zuckerberg has previously termed the virtual reality (VR) as the future of social interaction and in line with that, Facebook unveiled Facebook Spaces app that makes it possible to spend time with friends in virtual reality.

The app that is in its beta version offers a digital avatar to users that helps them chat and interact with users in VR.

The avatar is generated based on user's photos, which can also be customised. 

During the VR interactions, users can draw with virtual markers, watch 360-degree videos, and call other friends through Messenger.

Facebook also added a Discover tab to its Messenger home screen where users can find categories of chat bots, recently used bots, trending bots and a search field.

Here, Messenger will offer categories, recently used bots, trending bots, and a search field.

Facebook also added chat extensions to the Messenger app that lets users share songs and reserve tables directly from chat. It will make it possible for more than one person to interact with a third party app or business at the same time.

The addition of new QR codes to the Messenger makes it possible to learn more about events in the real world by scanning them with your phone.

The social networking giant also launched Developer Circles initiative which is free and open to any developer, and will function as a forum for collaborating and sharing knowledge. 

"Local developers will lead each circle by organising offline events and managing a Facebook Group for that specific region," the report said. 

Facebook said that the initiative was as an opportunity for students and experienced coders alike. 

Facebook is teaming-up with Udacity to create custom training programmes for Developer Circles.