Facebook announced on Wednesday that it has acquired Masquerade (stylized as MSQRD), a popular app on the App Store that enables you to overlay animated filters on your selfies. The acquisition comes in just when the company had started focusing on its video features.
Facebook has been dominating the messaging sector because of its Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram apps for a while now. With this new move, the company comes head-to-head with the likes of Snapchat and its spin in ephemeral messages that disappear that have proven to be highly popular. The company had tried to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion a while ago to maintain its market lead in every possible sector but failed.
Masquerade has been increasing in popularity for a while now. Just a little over 10 days ago, there was an Internet hoax from Eugene Gordeev who posted that MSQRD was getting acquired by Apple for about $117 million. The startup, based out of Belarus, has one investor, Yuri Gurski of Gagarin Capital.
Apparently, Masquerade will continue releasing its app as a standalone service and will also be integrating its technology into Facebook. The app currently averages out at 5 stars on the App Store and has been consistently been staying towards the top of lists. It is also available for Android.
The startup’s founders, Eugene Nevgen, Sergey Gonchar and Eugene Zatepyakin, Facebook said, will work out of Facebook’s London office.
The terms of the acquisition have not yet been revealed by either parties.
Here’s what MSQRD had to say about the acquisition in a blog post:
We’re joining Facebook!
Video communication is exploding. At Masquerade, we’ve worked hard to make video more fun and engaging by creating filters that enhance and alter your appearance. Now, we’re excited to join forces with Facebook and bring the technology to even more people. Within Facebook, we’re going to be able to reach people at a scale like never before. For starters, we’ll be able to bring our technology to Facebook’s audience of nearly 1.6 billion people. This is a scale of audience we never imagined was possible.
While we will be partnering with Facebook to integrate our technology, the app will stay up and running so you’ll continue to record fun selfies and keep using the product. You can also expect us to keep adding fun features!
We want to thank our investor and mentor Yuri Gurski and Gagarin Capital – this journey wouldn’t have been possible without their support.
We appreciate you being a part of our journey, and we’re very excited about what’s next!