Facebook Stories will have augmented reality 3D drawing options, and looping short videos are coming to Instagram in the form of Boomerang.
It seems that in their never-ending mission to popularize Stories and Instagram, Facebook is going to roll out a couple of new features that are sure to be liked by many users.
New Facebook features
As a few users have discovered, the Facebook Stories camera a new toy: a brush that lets users draw in their camera. The drawings can then be viewed as augmented reality doodles, in 3D.
Matt Navarra of The Next Web shared a series of tweets and videos showcasing this new feature.
Take a look at Navarra’s tweet here:
WOAH! Facebook has a cool new 3D AR doodle tool pic.twitter.com/gXiMZlBUa7
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) April 12, 2018
John Barnett, Facebook Camera Product Manager, says they intended to give users a hands-on way of creating augmented reality content and a method for drawing in their environment. Barnett reveals that the feature will have the name of “3D drawing.”
The users of Facebook Stories can open their camera, select the doodle tool, and draw on their surroundings. What makes this augmented reality is the fact that, when moving the camera around, the drawing stays in place and is rendered from all sides, as if truly part of the world. Moreover, the camera can also detect differences in surfaces, which means that the drawing will ‘sit’ on a table for example, or wrap around it.
So far, the only existing brush is the gradient one, with more planned. While the 3D drawing tool so far works fine, its functionality is still dependent on the surroundings and the light levels. The feature is expected to roll out to users in the next few weeks.
Facebook has also added new animated backgrounds for text posts, and the ability to reply to comments from the notifications on mobile.
An additional feature that has been announced is Boomerang for Instagram. Boomerang allows users record brief videos that will then loop from end to beginning, akin to GIFs. The new feature is already in a staged rollout.
Facebook has already had an option to turn videos into GIFs last year but has since disabled that feature. It seems the company is intended for its users to turn to Instagram’s Boomerang for this feature. This does not at all come as a surprise since Instagram already has a well-established user base.
Another popular and welcomed feature for Instagram is the voting stickers. These are similar to stickers, however, the poster can pose a question, and the viewing party can then select one of the provided answers.