Looking at the growing influence of AR in every sphere of life and business, Facebook is coming up with new ways to reignite the efficacy of its existing applications. Towards this, it has now renamed its Camera Effects to ‘Spark AR’.
The social media giant has teased this application at its annual F8 conference in April 2017. This week saw the full-fledged application upgrade to bring in the futuristic capabilities provided by immersive AR experiences.
What are the changes we can expect?
Facebook is no longer content with animations, masks, and playful effects delivered by the Camera Effects app. To expand to the wider AR domain, the renaming will be the first of many updates that the app will see in the coming few weeks. Even the community name has been updated from AR Studio to Spark AR Studio.
Additionally, it has brought Spark AR to be used on other platforms like Instagram as well.
Spark AR and Instagram
Facebook’s think-tank endeavours to extend the usage of the app features beyond its own platform. Hence, it now provides the Spark AR’s content sharing ability to other platforms like Instagram as well. This way, Spark AR on Instagram will now go mainstream and not remain in the hands of the elite few like Kylie Jenner, NBA, or Gucci.
Participants in a wider beta testing will be able to utilise Spark AR Studio in order to devise and deploy interactive AR based experiences and share these on Instream to their users. Developers can use this link for submitting their applications for beta testing.
Why the name change matters?
Earlier, the Facebook Camera Effects was available solely on one platform, i.e. on Facebook itself. Hence the name at that time made sense. Also, its scope of offerings was limited to minor animations and masks to be used by individual users in their chats, messages, or posts. Both these aspects about the application underwent a radical change since the first teaser about the new upgrade was shown at the 2017 F8 conference. As a part of the latest updates, the application delivers value not just for the Facebook site. It has greatly expanded its scope to allow Instagram users as well. Hence in its new avatar, ‘Facebook Camera Effects’ wouldn’t do justice to the broader role the app has now taken on. Thus the name change makes sense.
There is one more reason why the name change would be apt. All individual components that are a part of the ‘Facebook Camera Effects’ ecosystem too will now have a common name to depict its association with this ecosystem. Hence, the existing ‘AR Studio’ too is now rechristened to ‘Spark AR Studio’.
Interestingly, there is a third reason that justifies the name change which is equally imperative. Facebook is looking to bring in the immense business value provided by the AR domain. But tying it up with the existing ‘Facebook Camera Effects’ wouldn’t have given users an idea about the extended immersive capabilities now possible with the app. Hence, the new name ‘Spark AR’ seems to fit in nicely with the new possibilities presented by the application.
Read all about the official announcement from FB here.