From animations for photos to video and business features for Messenger, Facebook and developers are rolling out new ways for users to personalize the experience and to interact with businesses.
As the two-day event got underway in San Francisco, Los Angeles mobile-app startup PingTank announced its 2-D and 3-D animations will be integrated into Facebook’s Messenger platform. That allows Messenger users to overlay animations on photos.
The former Spice Girls band member Mel B — aka Scary Spice — decided to invest in PingTank after her husband Stephen Belafonte, a longtime friend of PingTank CEO and former MySpace music star Jeremy Greene, introduced her to the app. Greene is one of the more than 2,500 app makers in attendance at F8.
Mel B took a few minutes on the phone to tell me about the company’s animations app on Messenger just as it went live.
“I’m a big fan of apps — it’s a great way to communicate with fans,” said the former Spice Girl. “I wanted to be involved before it got big. It’s such a cool app; I’ve got three daughters, and they love it.”
The one-year-old startup’s animations range from 2-D animated cartoon expressions, like lipstick kisses and rage faces, to 3-D characters. It also includes a 3-D puppy that looks like it’s emerging from the phone as it licks the screen, all of which were available as of 11 a.m. PST. Users can either take a photo or select one from their camera roll and customize it with the expressions.