In an effort to enhance its photo and video special effects, Facebook, Inc. (FB) has acquired facial recognition startup FacioMetrics. The deal has been confirmed by FacioMetrics CEO Fernando De la Torre via a statement on the company's website.
Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, De la Torre noted that joining forces with Facebook will allow FacioMetrics to expand its research. The deal is expected to help Facebook bolster its position in augmented reality and Live Video. The deal is also seen as Facebook taking a page from Snapchat, given that FacioMetrics will allow users to enhance videos with filters and effects similar to the Snapchat app. (See also: Facebook Copies Snapchat to Boost Sharing on Its Platform.)
"How people share and communicate is changing, and things like masks and other effects allow people to express themselves in fun and creative ways," Facebook said in a statement confirming the acquisition. "We're excited to welcome the FacioMetrics team, who will help bring more fun effects to photos and videos and build even more engaging sharing experiences on Facebook."
Spun out of Carnegie Mellon University on 2015, FacioMetrics develops "state-of-the-art computer vision and machine learning algorithms for facial image analysis." The company's technology has been used in several apps for mobile devices, including an app called Intraface, which was available on Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) App Store and Alphabet, Inc's (GOOGL) Google Play Store. On the heels of Facebook's acquisition, however, the apps have been removed from both stores.
This latest deal complements the many others Facebook has made in the realm of augmented reality technology in its efforts to cement its position in what some analysts consider the next frontier in technology. The company recently said it has earmarked about $250 million for developing virtual reality content. (See also: Facebook's WhatsApp Launches Video Calling.)
Facebook shares gained as much as 1.24% on Thursday before closing out the session at $117.79. The stock has risen 12.5% year to date, compared with a 7% rise in the S&P 500 (SPX) index.