Facebook Bought the Face-Swapping Selfie App MSQRD

March 9, 2016—Facebook has just acquired Masquerade Technologies, a company based in Minsk and Belarus who are responsible for the creating the hugely popular app MSQRD. To date, MSQRD has 15 million users making it one of the top apps downloaded in app stores worldwide. It allows users to apply filters or face-swaps in their selfies and record a video of themselves, which they can then share in their social media accounts.

While the virtual effects functionality will be available to Facebook users, Masquerade will continue to manage and operate the standalone app in global app stores. The amount exchanged for the acquisition was not disclosed.

Insiders are seeing the move as Facebook’s reaction to the popularity of the same capabilities in Snapchat. Facebook has tried to buy Snapchat in 2013 for $3 billion but the founders turned down the offer.

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