Facebook to shut down AR face-filtering app MSQRD

San Francisco, March 14 (IANS) Facebook has announced to shut down its Augmented Reality (AR) face-filtering app called MSQRD.

On April 13, Facebook will remove the app from both the Android and iOS app stores.

Facebook acquired MSQRD in 2016 and the AR app played a key role in enhancing the company's portfolio of AR image and video tools like ‘Spark AR' that lets users create custom face filters for Facebook and Instagram.

“MSQRD was fundamental to building early momentum for AR and providing insights to build the platform Facebook has today,” the company said in a statement late Friday.

“Our focus is now on delivering you the best-possible AR experiences through Spark AR, the platform that allows anyone to create their own AR effects and share them across the Facebook family,” it added.

People can still find AR effects directly within Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Portal.

Today, Instagram and Snapchat offer several in-built face-swapping tools.

Fuelled by Snapchat Lenses and Facebook Stories, AR is gaining fast traction.

Facebook is currently building its own operating system (OS) from scratch that will power its hardware: mainly AR and virtual reality (VR) headsets like Oculus and video calling devices like Portal that currently runs Google's Android OS.

By moving to its own OS, Facebook could integrate more indigenous features into its devices, and hopefully privacy, creating a custom OS for its AR glasses or Portal devices.

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