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Facebook buys another facial recognition company to help it compete with Snapchat

 
Facebook has scooped up another facial recognition startup to help bolster its photo and video ambitions. The company, called FacioMetrics, was started by Carnegie Mellon students last year and it specialized in using machine learning algorithms to let smartphones analyze faces in real time through the frame of a camera. In a statement obtained by VentureBeat, Facebook says the company “will help bring more fun effects to photos and videos,” which includes the real-time filters, effects, and face-swapping tools now commonplace in social apps, namely Snapchat. 

“We started FacioMetrics to respond to the increasing interest and demand for facial image analysis — with all kinds of applications including augmented/virtual reality, animation, audience reaction measurement, and others,” writes founder and CEO Fernando De La Torre on the startup’s website. “Now, we’re taking a big step forward by joining the team at Facebook, where we’ll be able to advance our work at an incredible scale, reaching people from across the globe.”

This acquisition is just Facebook’s latest attempt to better compete with Snapchat. As the competition between the two companies has grown fierce, Facebook has become more brazen in its talent grabs and with the features that it’s begun rolling out to its main app and others under the Facebook umbrella. The social network acquired the face-swapping app MSQRD back in April, and it’s recently been applying this type of facial recognition technology in the camera feature of its main mobile app as part of a beta testing phase in Ireland. And a new feature coming soon and demoed for the first time last month applies Prisma-like art filters over photos and videos in real time using technology like that of FacioMetrics’.  

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