Facebook has selected Meitu for its AR abilities to help it catch up in animated photography. By joining Facebook’s AR Studio as an early beta partner, Meitu will bring three AR camera effects to the Facebook camera soon, it was announced by Facebook’s director of platform partnerships, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis at RISE in Hong Kong.

Facebook announced its AR Studio in April at F8 and Meitu is the first company specializing in AR facial recognition to be selected and the first company based in Asia. Xiamen-based Meitu already has its apps installed on 1.1 billion unique devices and 450 monthly active users and its tech could reach many more very soon. The China’s company also makes smartphones optimized for selfies and at TechCrunch Shenzhen announced plans to harness its users’ frequent selfie-snapping for health monitoring, picking out minute changes in users’ appearance.

Facebook users will be able to use three features which utilize front or rear facing cameras—or both. As with many such filters and augmentations, you have to see the effect to understand it, but the descriptions from Meitu’s release capture the sense of the world we’re heading into.“Selfie from the Future” will, according to the release, add a “robotic eyeglass effect that transposes your face onto a heads-up display below. The rear camera effect features a touch-activated Meitu robot.”

“Meitu Family” adds Meitu’s own cartoon characters “with a donut munching effect as a nod to Meitu Family character, Louis. The rear camera effect includes a game where you can uncover hidden Meitu Family characters within floating donuts in your environment.”

Perhaps the most Snapchat-generation-ready feature is Instant Glam: “Go from drab to fab, in an instant! Start off in a shower cap and brush your teeth before your makeup brushes magically come to life to glam you up for the day! The rear camera effect reveals red, squeezable lips floating throughout your environment.”

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...

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