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Facebook Messenger adds Snapchat-style AR objects

It won't let its arch-nemesis have the augmented reality edge.
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook clearly doesn't want any significant Snapchat feature to go unanswered. It's adding World Effects to Messenger's camera that, to no one's surprise, serve as direct parallels to Snapchat's augmented reality objects. You can float an arrow in the world to point to a landmark, put word bubbles like "bae" or "miss you" over your head, or throw in a "celebratory" robot... because robots, that's why.

These are "early versions" of World Effects, so you can expect some refinement over time. However, Facebook's determination to get them by the end of 2017 in shows just how important it sees augmented reality. While it's still something of a novelty, it's crucial enough that the social network sees it as a competitive advantage -- even if it's just to add a little extra pizzazz to your holiday chats.

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