Instagram and Facebook Messenger get AR games for video calling

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Instagram and Facebook Messenger will be able to play games with multiple people in augmented reality during video calling. Developers can build it thanks to an update to the Spark Studio tool for building AR applications.

Besides games, it’s also about ‘shared context’ and ‘shared moments’, Facebook says. The intention is that everyone in a video call via Instagram Messaging or Facebook Messenger shares the same AR effect. The examples Facebook shows are party hats and confetti at a birthday and a game, where users have to guide a donut from right to left across the image and copy it from each other.

The feature is called the Multipeer API and will initially be available for Facebook Messenger. Later, Instagram and Portal will be added. Portal is the video calling device that Facebook launched in 2019. Facebook announced the new api at its own developer conference F8 Refresh. The API is still in closed beta.

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