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In its quest for total messaging domination, Facebook just announced a fun update for Messenger today. When you’re video chatting with a friend in Messenger, you can now slap on a live-updating filter or mask.
Either in a group or one-on-one chat, you can add animated reactions, filters, masks, and effects. For example, if you want to react to what your friends are saying (with… more than just your face?), you can tap an animated emoji icon. This can surround your face with hovering hearts, or send virtual tears streaming from your eyes. These onscreen emoji reactions are different depending on whether your face is in the frame or not.
You can also add a filter to your video. It can be a subtle, amping up the brightness if your chatting from a dimly lit room, or dramatic, like the one filter that dyes the screen in yellows or reds. You can preview a filter yourself before setting it so everyone sees it.
Posted by Messenger on Friday, June 23, 2017
And of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without Snapchat-style face masks. With these, you can don a flower crown, wear a cartoon bunny nose and ears, or turn your face into a teddy bear. Masks and filter effects stay on screen for the entirety of your video chat (or until you switch them off). Reactions, by comparison, only pop up on screen briefly before disappearing.
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And to capture your now much more creative video chats, you can also now take screenshots of your chat. To do this, tap the camera icon during your chat. This will take a picture of your video chat and save it to your camera roll. From there you can share it or save it as you wish.
Need more help? Here’s how to lock down your Facebook privacy settings, see who unfriended you, and delete a Facebook page. You can also unfriend someone on Facebook, and we can help you change your name on Facebook or disconnect Facebook from Instagram.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.