, the real-time video call solution behind Xiaomi and Momo, today announced the launch of Agora Virtual Lenses, a new software development kit (SDK) that allows developers to easily add face tracking and special effects to real-time video and live streaming apps.

The new feature includes more than 600 sets of 2D and 3D stickers as well as virtual lenses and filters aimed at augmenting the user experience and driving higher engagement, according to the company.

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“The way we communicate and share content is constantly evolving. As Snapchat’s success has proven, virtual lenses have added a new layer to the way we interact with one another,” says Tony Zhao, founder and CEO at

Virtual lenses and stickers have become so popular that it turns to a must-have for nearly every social networking, chat and video apps. Apple recently added sticker and filter features to iMessages in iOS 10 update.

The launched of Agora Virtual Lenses would allow every developer to add hundreds of special effects to existing video platforms without a dedicated team of graphic engineers and designers.

Open to all developers, Agora’s latest addition may add fuel to further development of the live streaming sector. Momo, one of China’s top social networking and dating app, saw record revenue growth last year thanks to live streaming.

“We want to democratize that experience by offering a simple SDK that’s open to any developer who wants to add interactive features to existing platforms or channels,” Zhao adds. “There’s a growing opportunity for app developers and social media platforms to capture new revenue streams for themselves and their users with live interactive experiences.”

In addition, the company told Technode that they are going to partner with Hike Messenger, a major rival of WhatsApp in India and social network MeetMe. MeetMe just did a $60million acquisition with Tagged and If(we), and announced they were betting big in video.

Privately held and founded in 2014, is a Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS) provider delivering mobile-first real-time communications for brands and businesses globally. features include voice calling, video calling, group conferencing, interactive broadcasting and more. provides communications services to organizations across industries, including telemedicine, education, financial services, customer service, social media applications and mobile gaming. The company’s SDK is installed on more than 500 million devices.

Apart from providing its technology to Xiaomi, is backed by Shunwei Capital, whose founding partner and chairman is Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun. Agora’s other investors include Morningside, SIG, GGV Capital, and IDG.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.