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Facebook Developing Branded Filters for Selfies

Facebook appears to be wearing Snapchat filters…yet again.

The social media giant Facebook is reportedly in talks with Hollywood studios about the prospect of promoting big-budget films with animated mask filters.

The filters, which are expected to be launched in March, would initially be offered to brands as an unpaid experiment.

Facebook Live allows users to use filters to sync special effects and animation over their faces, however, the social media company has never offered the function to brands.

The move to offer filters to brands may be due to the success Snapchat had with blockbuster films in 2016.

Six film studios including Sony Pictures, Universal Studios and Pixar purchased ads to promote summer blockbusters such as Finding Dory and Ghostbusters aimed at Gen Y consumers. Meanwhile, Starbucks, Michael Kors and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) also created ads with branded decals, and three beauty brands (L’Oréal Paris, Urban Decay and Benefit Cosmetics) produced campaigns that applied makeup filters to selfies.

The result was tracked a recent eMarketer report, that projected advertising, including sponsored brand filters, will bring in more than $1 billion in revenue for Snapchat alone in 2017, which is impressive considering the fact that Snapchat only began offering the capability earlier this year.

It’s no surprise then that Facebook would aim to capitalize on this phenomenon – where brands are no longer interrupting consumers but joining their conversation – with augmented reality in a camera-centered redesign.

The question, however, becomes can Facebook create a functioning brand filter before Snapchat evolves even further.

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