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Facebook, NYT join hands for AR-driven journalism

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Facebook has teamed up with The New York Times to co-develop augmented reality (AR) filters and effects on Instagram that will help users access and contextualise journalism at the media outlet.

According to a report in Axios, the leading US media organisation has built a dedicated “AR Lab” team within its research and development unit of more than a dozen employees.

“Facebook will be providing financial and technical support for the project, but it will not have any influence on the editorial side. The Times will have full control over the design and content of the effects,” the report said on Wednesday, quoting NYT executives.

At its ‘Facebook Connect’ virtual conference, the social network said more than 600 million people use Spark AR across Facebook and Instagram every month.

The Spark AR Studio is a Facebook platform for developers.

“More than 400,000 creators from over 190 countries have published Spark AR effects for Facebook and Instagram. Together, they’ve published over 1.2 million AR effects to date,” Facebook said in a statement.

In just the last three months, more than 150 effect owners have hit over 1 billion views and uses.

“Beginning next year, we’ll open up Portal and Messenger to Spark AR creator publishing, giving more people fun new ways to connect,” Facebook said.


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