Facebook's been copying Snapchat. But here's its plan to get ahead

"Facebook has been slow to get into augmented reality and related technologies, focusing instead on the more mature but less mainstream virtual reality", Dawson said in a blog post.

Augmented reality has been in the air for some time and got its first big hit a year ago with Pokémon Go, a game in which users use their smartphones to chase digital creatures through the real world.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg formally announced the platform today at the company's F8 developer conference.

Whether or not Zuckerberg goes there, he will no doubt have plenty of other new developments to talk about. Giving example of how a smartphone camera is steadily stepping into the augmented reality, it will hold a promising future for facebook users changing the way how interact with each other and the world.

A few developers have had early access to Camera Effects, including Giphy, which designed a thought bubble that can hover above your head while you're filming yourself to let your friends know what you're thinking.

"Facebook overset expectations at F8 previous year", said Peter Friedman, chairman and CEO of LiveWorld, a social customer experience company. At last year's F8, Facebook introduced a platform for creating bots atop Messenger. There may be a Google Earth canvassing reality, but Facebook Stories might be right behind, invisibly mapping it with augmented reality just the same.

Facebook also launched a virtual world, called Facebook Spaces, created to let users of its Oculus Rift VR headset hang out with avatar versions of their friends in a virtual world. While face masks and frames, like we're already seeing in Facebook's app, will be part of the platform; it's technology called Simultaneous Location and Matching (SLAM) that'll make it really cool.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is set to give his most important speech of the year on Tuesday as controversy continues to plague the social network he founded.

The conference is also expected to feature some new product announcements during which some African developers will be featured.

When Facebook launched Building 8 last April, there were several unanswered questions about what it is developing and when we would see the first products. "We all want glasses or eventually contact lenses that look and feel normal but let us overlay all kinds of information and digital objects on top of the real world".

"We see the beginning of a new platform", Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg's decision to highlight augmented reality also seemed to be a tacit admission that Facebook's efforts to develop full-on virtual reality haven't been as successful as he would like.

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