It has been several years since Facebook acquired an augmented reality selfie app called MSQRD, and now it’s time to say goodbye.
Way back in 2016, Facebook made the news cycle by acquiring MSQRD, an AR selfie app that was seeing quite a bit of popularity at the time. And now Facebook and MSQRD are back, but only for a short time. Facebook confirmed today (via The Verge) that it will be shutting down MSQRD in April. The app will then be removed from the App Store, which will take place on April 13.
It’ll be removed for Android users on the same day, too.
Facebook originally stated that, after acquiring MSQRD, it would keep the app as a standalone experience and that it would continue to update the app well into the future. However, as reported by Business Insider, that didn’t turn out to be the case. Facebook stopped updating MSQRD before the end of 2016 — not even a year after the acquisition.
Per the announcement today:
Thanks for using the MSQRD app!
On April 13, the MSQRD app will be going away. When Masquerade joined Facebook in 2016, photo filter technology was just beginning to emerge. MSQRD was fundamental to building early momentum for AR and providing insights to build the platform Facebook has today. Our focus is now on delivering you the best-possible AR experiences through Spark AR, the platform that allows anyone to create their own AR effects and share them across the Facebook family. You can still find AR effects directly within Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Portal. Huge thanks to our community for the support.
Facebook essentially used the features and technology in the AR selfie app to bolster its own products. That includes additional AR tools, both for video and pictures. That technology led to the development of Spark AR, which Facebook and Instagram users can use to create custom face filters.
MSQRD did have its day in the spotlight, but as its primary reason for existence — face filters — eventually found their way into apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and others, another standalone app might not have been worth it to most smartphone owners out there in the wild. So perhaps it’s not too surprising to hear that Facebook has decided to call it quits.
Did you ever try out the MSQRD app?