Facebook is launching a series of new features to help people customize their photos and videos in the social network’s continuing battle with Snapchat, an app that put the camera, photos and video at the front-and-center of social interactions. Today, Facebook is unveiling a new tool that will allow anyone, including Facebook Page owners, to create custom profile frames for users’ photos. It’s also introducing similar capabilities, along with other effects that can be used on both photos and videos, with its new “in-app camera” available in a single test market.
In response to the yellow ghost’s multimedia first approach to the niche, Facebook has started experimenting with its own take on various camera-based experiences. The latest such, is a limited launch feature that allows users to create custom profile frames. The idea is exactly what it sounds like – you take your favorite image editing software and create some transparent pictures, then arrange them properly, upload to Facebook and have yourself and others use it as photo frames.
Currently, the feature is being beta tested in Colombia, Mexico, Taiwan, the U.K. and Ireland, which were selected for this initial launch as the markets that currently use Facebook’s profile photo frames the most. This is precisely where this first installment of the custom frames feature currently resides.
Users there will also be able to create frames that can appear in the in-app camera, in addition to seeing them appear in News Feed, as in the other markets. Ireland will be able to create “location frames,” too, which are those that visually represent a given locale, like a neighborhood, city or landmark. These can be used on photos and videos, and shared within the in-app camera.
The idea here is that these geofiltered frames would only pop up in the camera when you were at the location. For example, if you were taking a picture at a private location or business, like a restaurant, you would see the option to add the frame the restaurant’s owner had created. Other location frames will only be seen in the camera by the creator’s friends when they’re near the location.
Facebook says it will make other improvements to this in-app camera, beyond this latest functionality, before it rolls out the feature worldwide.