Facebook brings animated reactions, filters, masks and effects to Messenger calls

As part of celebrating its two billion monthly active users milestone, Facebook on Monday unveiled new video chat features for its mobile Messenger app, such as the beautifully animated reactions, interactive filters, masks and effects. “Video chats with your friends and family in Messenger just got a whole lot more fun,” said the firm.

You can use these new video features in one-on-one video calls, as well as in your group video conversations. The new capabilities let you easily share your emotions during a video call with one of the five Facebook reactions, alter your appearance (how about making your friend laugh with a bear mask?) by taking advantage of the many built-in filters and much more.

I like how reactions animate onto the screen and then disappear.

Many reactions have different versions, depending on whether your face is on or off the screen. For instance, tap the love reaction when the camera is facing you, then tap it again when the camera is facing outward to see the difference.

A variety of in-call filters are now available to Messenger users, ranging from subtle lighting tweaks to color changes, like black and white, red or yellow. Each one has a live preview so you can test it on yourself before letting others see it. Many new masks are available for video calls, too, including some with hidden effects that react to your facial movements.

From the Facebook blog:

We have also added animated effects, like falling hearts and twinkling stars, to give your video chats expressive flair. Check out what happens when you wave your arm in front of the camera while using one of those effects! Unlike reactions, masks and effects stay on the screen for the duration of the video chat (or until you take them off or switch to another one).

One of the best new in-call video features is the screenshotting ability.

During an one-on-one or group video call with one or more friends, tap the camera icon at the bottom to take a screenshot of your time together and share it with other friends via Messenger Day or other social media accounts

The image of your video conversation will be saved to your iPhone’s Camera roll. Plus, you can quickly send the screenshot to the person or group that you’re video chatting with.

Check out the new Messenger video features in Facebook’s video embedded below.

Earlier today, Microsoft started rolling out a much redesigned Skype for iPhone with a Snapchat-like Stories feature, dubbed Highlights.

Moreover, Skype for iPhone now lets you talk to Cortana and other chat bots, as well as post message and in-call reactions by adding huge emoticons, live text and photos with drawings to an overlay that appears on top of the call.

Facebook Messenger is available free on App Store.