Facebook has revealed why it ripped so many of Snapchat's key features

Aatif Sulleyman
At one point in the demonstration, Mark Zuckerberg made sharks circle a cereal bowl

Facebook has announced its plans for augmented reality at its F8 developers conference.

The company shed light on its future intentions for the various features its portfolio of apps have ripped from Snapchat.

Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp have all added Snapchat-like functionality over the past year.

"That was Act One," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"We’re making the camera the first augmented reality platform. We’re going to start building this platform together."

The company wants developers to create thousands of effects, masks and frames for users who, in Facebook's vision, would be able completely transform real-world objects through their cameras.

In a demo, Mr Zuckerberg, who at one point described existing effects as "primitive", used technologies called Simultaneous Location and Mapping, 3D Effects and Object Recognition to fill a 2D picture of a room with virtual balls and Skittles.

He also transformed a breakfast table by making digital sharks circle a bowl of cereal.

Object recognition allowed him to tap a cup of coffee and bring up effects for steam, and tap a plant for a drizzle of water.

Though the examples shown on stage were all light-hearted, he added that augmented reality will be both fun and useful.

For the latter case, he said users will be able to add things like information cards to pictures of wine, complete with information and a link to buy it.

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