You might already be aware of third-party AR effects on Instagram and Facebook, many of which have become increasingly popular during quarantine. Soon, those effects could be coming to Messenger and Portal as well. At today’s Facebook Connect, the company announced that it’ll open up both Portal and Messenger to Spark AR creator publishing beginning next year. That means that in addition to the first-party Facebook-developed AR effects that Messenger and Portal have right now, they’ll soon have access to third-party ones too.
Facebook has also announced that it’s partnering with the New York Times on a new AR Lab to explore “AR-first journalism” that aims to help people understand news topics in a more interactive and “hands-on” way. According to the company, these AR stories will “merge digital, print and mobile” with Instagram. One example that Facebook showed was an AR visualization of air pollution during the pandemic in different parts of the world.