Even as Facebook faces extreme pressure from Congress on issues like foreign interference and fake news, the company has to remain focused on keeping users tied to its many products. After all, that's how it makes its money. One of the ways Facebook is doing that is by going in heavy on augmented reality. Aside from bringing the technology to its News Feed and main app's camera, Facebook sees AR as the perfect medium to bring a different layer to one particular service: Messenger, where friends interact with one another on a daily basis.
On a recent visit to its Seattle office, where Facebook's Real Time Communication team is based, we got to take a look at some unreleased AR games for Messenger. The hope, Facebook says, is that these multiplayer experiences can make the app even more popular than it already is. Messenger already has 1.3 billion monthly active users, making it one of the world's most used messaging services -- right behind WhatsApp (1.5 billion), which Facebook also owns. And if anything can make you more popular, it's cats. Because there aren't many things people (and the internet) love more than cats.
Kitten Craze (pictured above), which will launch later this year, lets up to six different Messenger users play a game where they have to move their head side to side in order to avoid flying cats. To make things sillier, those flying cats are either making weird faces or have cool curly hair. It's kind of like the classic arcade title Galaga, except no one is shooting at you and instead of airships, there are kittens coming at you -- well, your face.