Facebook’s full assault on Snapchat has begun.
On Friday, Facebook announced a completely revamped camera interface in its main app that can send goofy selfies that disappear after 24 hours.
The test, which Facebook simply calls “the new camera,” is first being made available in Ireland before rolling out to everyone.
Like Snapchat, Facebook’s new camera includes dozens of special effects including augmented-reality selfie “masks” that seem almost identical to Snapchat’s Lenses. A camera button at the top of the News Feed will open the new interface, and swiping to the right of the News Feed will show photo and video direct messages with friends.
This particular camera redesign has been of personal interest to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, according to someone familiar with his thinking. He shared a new mantra, “the camera is the composer,” during an all-hands meeting with Facebook employees this summer, the person said.
A Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider on Friday that the new camera design was in response to two trends the company observed: People are sharing more photos and videos than ever before, and they want a way to share them with only close friends, not their entire friend demographic.
Chris Cox, Facebook’s product chief, said earlier this week at The Wall Street Journal’s tech conference that his team is “very invested” in making the camera “a creative tool.”
“It’s an area of work we’re really invested in, which is making it easy for the camera to be an early application of AR,” he said.
Facebook started wading into Snapchat’s territory went it bought the selfie filter app Masquerade, known as MSQRD, earlier this year. Then Instagram introduced a clone of Snapchat’s Story functionality; Facebook is currently testing a similar feature in the Messenger app in parts of Europe and Australia.