Why Facebook Just Bought A Silly Selfie App

Of course, Facebook just bought Masquerade.

As Snapchat continues to capture the time and imaginations of young users, Facebook had to do something to compete.

Like Snapchat, Masquerade is a simple mobile app that allows for playful augmentations to selfies and video content. Some of its more popular tricks include mashing selfies with those of various celebrities, and face swapping -- which is when one face is swapped for another.

Facebook has been trying to get a piece of Snapchat’s action for some time. Three years ago, it even tried (and failed) to buy the startup for $3 billion.

The simple fact is that Facebook is maturing, its users are posting less and less -- and, as it turns out, people just love sharing silly selfies with friends.

They love it so much, in fact, that Snapchat has ballooned in value to $16 billion, and is reportedly targeting between $300 million and $350 million in revenue in 2016 -- six to seven times the $50 million in revenue it projected last year.

It’s also worth noting that Facebook has had far more success buying popular apps than developing its own. Instagram was an incredible investment, while in-house inventions like Slingshot -- a Snapchat-like app that lets users to share pictures and video -- and short-form video collaboration tool Riff have been busts.

For the time being, Masquerade will continue to exist as a standalone app. Going forward, however, expect to see its editing tools slowly added to Facebook’s existing properties, including its flagship app, and maybe even Moments and Instagram.

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