Facebook Acquires Animated Filter App Called MSQRD

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 7.32.49 PM

Facebook has recently acquired an app called Masquerade (MSQRD) in an effort to compete with Snapchat’s fun, engaging, (sometimes crazy) animated filters. To announce the partnership, Mark Zuckerberg posted a video to his personal page where it appears he has crafted himself an Iron Man helmet while he’s sitting at his computer busy coding.

Has anyone heard of Masquerade? A company history blurb on Masquerade’s website says their software has been in development since 2010. Being acquired by Facebook will definitely make Masquerade more of a household name, but is this enough for Facebook to compete with Snapchat?

We all know that Snapchat CEOs famously declined Facebook’s $3B offer to buy the company back in 2013, and are currently looking at a $19B valuation, making it the third most valuable tech company backed by VC firms behind Uber and Xiaomi.

I wonder what Facebook’s motivation is behind this acquisition. The animated filters on Snapchat are fun to use, I would venture to say they are not the main reason people use the app. If you wanted to post a video on Facebook with these filters, you can easily do so. So my questions are:

  1. What do you think Facebook’s motivation is being acquiring Masquerade?
  2. Do you think this will make a dent in Facebook’s competition with Snapchat, which is encroaching on Facebook’s title as the most used social media app among young people?

Here’s the link: http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2016/03/facebook-msqrd-snapchat-lenses/

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One thought on “Facebook Acquires Animated Filter App Called MSQRD

  1. As you mention, this acquisition is clearly in response to Snapchat and their decision to pass on the $3B price tag back in ’13. Zuckerberg and co were looking to for a cheaper knock-off/generic version and looks like their engineers and valuation/projection models had them land on Masquerade. Big picture – I get the feeling that Facebook is turning into the Walmart of social media: a massive one-stop shop that gobbles up smaller competitors and imposes supplier power on the rest of the industry. Like Walmart – there are costs and benefits to this.

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