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Facebook buys MSQRD

Facebook intends to consolidate its position in the video section by drawing on the expertise on Masquerade (written usually as MSQRD), developing fun stickers to add to video shots.

Facebook announced it has acquired Masquerade, a Belarus-based start-up that specializes in creating image filters to add to video captures.

Needless to say, the acquisition is aimed at warding off competition from Snapchat that commands a strong brand loyalty among the young and young at heart. Snapchat has been found to have 100 million daily users and has also emerged as the third most popular app among the 13-to-17-year-olds in April 2015 in a Pew Research finding.

In comparison, Facebook is far bigger with a billion daily users. The same research has also pegged Facebook to be the most sought after app among the teenagers. However, that might not be enough for the social media giant that seems to suffer from a sense of unease at a company much smaller than itself continuing to maintain a steady growth trajectory while having converging areas of interest. No wonder, the social media giant had even attempted to lap up Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013 though all of that had come to naught.

Moreover, the rivalry now seems to be ready to enter a new phase once Masquerade, or simply MSQRD joins forces with Facebook. The social media company has also been according to a lot of priority to its videos section off late. Towards that, it has been working hard to expand its offerings for video which includes an addition of new editing tools or the ability to add sticker or text on images. No doubt MSQRD’s expertise will come in handy here.

It has just been in December that Facebook had begun rolling out Live video streaming to users of its app on iOS. It is here that Facebook’s acquisition of Masquerade can make a lot of sense in that live video streaming is expected to pick up further in the coming days. Moreover, MSQRD can make the entire process even more of a fun experience.

“Masquerade has built a fantastic app, MSQRD, with world-class imaging technology for video. We’re excited to welcome Masquerade to our team and continue enhancing the Facebook video experience,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Facebook has also clarified MSQRD will be allowed to function as an independent app. However, co-founders Eugene Nevgen, Sergey Gonchar and Eugene Zatepyakin are set to join Facebook while other key members will work out of Facebook’s offices in London.

“Within Facebook, we’re going to be able to reach people at a scale like never before,” MSQRD said in a blog post. “This is a scale of audience we never imagined was possible.”

MSQRD has the largest user base in Russia (22.4 percent) with the US (15.5percent) coming in at second. The app has already seen more than 12.6 million downloads since it began it journey in December, revealed SensorTower, an app analytics firm.

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