Messenger launched a new and distinctly Snapchat-like tool complete with art and special effects on Thursday.

The update lets users exchange photos with text, stickers, animated effects, illustrated frames and doodles.

The camera is quicker to access wherever you are in the messaging app, and shooting video is just a matter of holding down the conspicuously-placed shutter button.

The features come in a timely fashion, with a holiday-themed camera button on display to make finding it a bit easier.

“This product is a byproduct of trends we’re seeing now,” said Peter Martinazzi, Facebook Messenger’s director of product management.

“One of the biggest trends we’ve seen on mobile and on Messenger over the past few years is that people are getting more visual in their messages, using things like emoji and stickers.

“It’s something that’s growing faster than overall messaging is growing. And messaging overall is growing pretty fast.”

The new features began to roll out yesterday to all users on iOS and Android, and the holiday effects should be available for everyone by December 21.

This is not the first time Facebook would be developing updates that are very much alike to Snapchat.

In August, Facebook launched Instagram Stories, an almost carbon copy of Snapchat Stories.



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