Back in 2016, Facebook acquired MSQRD which was a Snapchat like selfie app. Soon after the acquisition, the app became the foundation on which Facebook designed its own AR filter framework for both Facebook app and Instagram.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use the app after April 13 as Facebook plans to shut it down. The company announced its decision in an update on MSQRD’s Facebook page.
On April 13, the MSQRD app will be going away. When Masquerade joined Facebook in 2016, photo filter technology was just beginning to emerge. MSQRD was fundamental to building early momentum for AR and providing insights to build the platform Facebook has today. Our focus is now on delivering you the best-possible AR experiences through Spark AR, the platform that allows anyone to create their own AR effects and share them across the Facebook family. You can still find AR effects directly within Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Portal. Huge thanks to our community for the support.
Ever since the acquisition, Facebook has been working on integrating the app into Facebook Live and Instagram AR filters. The MSQRD team also helped build Facebook’s AR platform, Spark AR which allows users to create AR effects for Instagram. Now that the platform has matured, it doesn’t make sense for Facebook to continue investing in the standalone app when it could put its resources into the Spark AR platform.