Facebook Reveals New AR and Business Suite Tools

The US Tech Firm's New AR and Business APIs Impress Amid Strong Developer Growth

Facebook Reveals New AR and Business Suite Tools
Augmented RealityInsights

Published: June 11, 2021


Rory Greener

US social media giant Facebook held its F8 Refresh showcase and among the many updates, big steps were revealed on the firm’s augmented reality (AR) integration as well as business suite. 

The announcements were made as the company works to present new opportunities for brands and developers to expand outreach across various social media platforms. 

Spark AR and Multipeer API

At the 2017 F8 event, Facebook announced its flagship Spark AR platform, which allows developers to create AR projects for their online content.

Since its announcement, Spark AR has become the largest platform of its kind, reporting strong figures of roughly 600,000 creators publishing over 2 million AR effects on Facebook and Instagram. 

Over the years, Facebook has continued to improve and support its leading platform, with the latest update to Spark AR adding Multipeer API.

Multipeer helps developers deliver coordinated AR experiences across video calls, as well as share games and content, to improve immersive interconnectivity between callers. 

Supported across social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Portal, Multipeer API offers fun new opportunities for brands and developers to create interactive experiences. 

Developers can join the thriving Spark AR community and get firsthand experience with all the tools needed to make immersive experiences by signing up to Facebook’s beta programme. 

Facebook for Business

Released last year, Facebook Business Suite is a convenient all-in-one business management platform, familiar to those already using Facebook for family and friends.

Business Apps is the latest tool added to the Menlo Park-based firm’s Business Suite following its introduction at the F8 showcase, offering improved scalability to a business’s online outreach.  

Currently finding success with eCommerce applications, the company aims to create an “ecosystem of apps” through an early access outreach program aimed at AR developers.

In partnership with Texan developers Bigcommece, Facebook is offering eCommerce tools such as ‘Facebook Shops’ and ‘Dynamic Ads’, which helps online outreach and can measure consumer analytics. 

Eco-friendly blanket retaillers SpearmintLOVE recorded a 14.2x increase in returns from advertisement spending along with twelve-fold growth in year-on-year (YoY) revenues after using the tools.  

Facebook’s Future with AR

Earlier this week, Facebook announced the acquisition of Unit 2 Games, the team behind the eCommerce gaming platform ‘Crayta’.

Facebook’s Vice-President of Gaming, Vivek Sharma, said: “We plan to integrate Crayta’s creation toolset into its Gaming’s cloud platform to instantly deliver new experiences.”

XR Today reported in May the potential value of the workspace metaverse for eCommmerce.   

Platforms like Virbela show how a metaverse can be used in education and business environments, and Crayta’s acquisition can give the US tech giant the ability to build an enterprise-focused metaverse.

Even as Facebook expects to expand outside of its social media presence “sooner than later“, the firm aims to continue to lead in the market as social media enters new territories.



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