Facebook has been known to develop copycat apps, or apps whose key features are “inspired” by those of other apps that have become quite popular. Perhaps the most notable example was Poke, the social networking giant’s ill-fated attempt at replicating the ephemeral messaging success of Snapchat.
As it turns out, another such app is under development at Facebook. This time, it’s something that appears to be based on the art filter technology recently popularized by Prisma.
What is Prisma?
Launched in June, Prisma lets users beautify otherwise ordinary images with stunning art filters. The app uses complex algorithms to apply the styles of famous artists and the looks of famous ornaments and patterns, thereby creating works of art out of photos.
Great works of art
Prisma has a nice interface and is easy to use. You can import images from your Photo Library or snap new ones. Select the filter you want from the huge library (over 30 are included for free), and then sit back and watch your pictures get the attention of everyone on your Instagram.
Prisma turns even mundane selfies into gorgeous works of art. Just snap your photo or selfie, and then pick from a wide variety of awesome artful filters. The fun begins here.
Prisma has a barebones minimalistic interface that is super easy to use and understand. There are a ton of filters to choose from, and you can adjust the strength just by sliding horizontally along the image. Control how artsy your photos become.
Thanks to its latest update, released earlier this month, Prisma has gained support for videos as well. This makes it possible for videos of up to 15 seconds to be image-processed frame by frame with the preferred art filters.
What is Facebook’s Prisma-like app?
Appearing on stage at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive conference yesterday, Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, demoed a work-in-progress app that appeared to employ the so-called “art transfer” technology used by Prisma.
Facebook’s app, though, is focused on not just video of a certain duration, but live video. And here is where it goes one better than Prisma. While Prisma, at least in its current state, takes a while for it to process a video, Facebook’s app seeks to apply art styles as instantaneously as possible to live video. As reported by VentureBeat:
What Facebook is exploring is not applying filters after the fact, but rather live filters for in-the-moment experiences. Cox explained that real-time implementation was the hardest challenge the company faced, as the program functions at 24 frames per second. “It’s taking something that’s a known technology, but it was getting it to be fast on a phone and to be able to be done at a low-enough latency without dropping frames, stuttering, or … blurring.”
Apparently, Facebook still has a ways to go before it perfects the technology, or at least until it deems the app effective and efficient enough to be used on live video. So don’t expect the app to be released in the near future.
For now, there is, of course, Prisma, which, although not designed for live video, is no slouch when it comes to post-processing videos into moving paintings or comic books. In fact, the music video below was made with the app.