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Facebook Buys Masquerade.

19 April 2016

“Putting the faces back in Facebook.”

For many years now, Facebook have been the front runners of evolution, adopting the many faces of social media and adapting these trends into their own site, from native video hosting to a standalone messaging app, and live streaming.

Now they have a few more faces to choose from, having recently purchased image-editing lense app Masquerade

Or MSQRD, if you’re allergic to vowels.

With today’s selfie-obsessed audience influencing many of the latest trends in social media apps, Facebook missed out when they were refused a $3 billion buyout offer for Snapchat.

So the acquisition of Masquerade comes as a shining second chance for the social giants. Albeit, one that looks like a slightly disturbing man-lion hybrid.

With 400m snaps sent every day through Snapchat, the lense-filtered selfie sensation is a huge segment of the social media landscape.

The purchase is a big one, from a ‘what’s hot on social’ point of view.

But for Facebook, they’re addressing the growing slide towards an older user demographic.

Snapchat has been hugely popular with teens and younger age groups, who have a natural affinity with the instant-message, photo and video-centric nature of the platform.

This age group is exactly where Facebook want to improve on their numbers.

Only 26 per cent of Facebook’s total audience consists of 16-24 year olds, according to GlobalWebIndex. Compare that to Snapchat’s user base, with over half their total users falling in the 16-24 age group, and the pieces start to fit into place.

At first, Facebook buying the hip new lense app may seem a little like your dad donning a backwards baseball cap and declaring everything is ‘radical’ and ‘wicked’, to try and remain relevant with the youth of today.

But it’s smart business, and better yet, offers some interesting opportunities for brands.

With Masquerade integrated into Facebook’s existing format, brands will have the immediacy and personable feel of Snapchat, but with Facebook’s powerful targeted advertising.

This also means less hassle having to direct their existing Facebook fan-base across to a newer platform, providing all the tools ready to plug in to their existing brand page.

Partnerships with top influencers, bloggers and celebrities should also be easier to showcase loud and proud on a brand’s Facebook page, depending on how seamless the integration between the two platforms.

This also reaffirms our observations on social, and the importance of self-presentation: the idea that the brands you associate with, and the pages you like on Facebook represents the public facing side of your life, and lifestyle aspirations, as much as current interests.

In this case, be prepared for the circus show of Cyborgs, superheroes and slightly dubious leprechauns.

 

Masquerade screenshots

Strawman Says:

Faces are making a comeback in Facebook. There are big opportunities on Masquerade for influencers and brands with an established personality, especially for the under-25 audience. Better learn how to use a selfie stick.

 

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