Facebook has announced a new Snapchat-like feature for its Messenger app called World Effects. The new feature allows users to drop 3D objects using a phone’s camera and augmented reality technology.

The new World Effects feature will work natively on the built-in camera of the Messenger app for Android and iOS devices. All a user has to do is open the Messenger app, tap the camera icon and select one of the new World Effects by scrolling through the camera effects. Facebook says there’s support for a heart, a robot and an arrow as 3D objects that can be used as a World Effect.

To drop one of the 3D object into an image or a video, users will simply have to tap on the screen where they want to place it. Once that’s done, users will be able to pan around and see the World Effect in AR.

“World Effects technology enables you to drop 3D objects into your surroundings to capture and share fun moments with your family and friends. For example, add a 3D heart floating over someone's head and then try panning your phone's camera from side to side,” Facebook said in a post.

In addition to those 3D objects listed above, Facebook Messenger supports bubbles and words that read “love,” “bae” and “miss you” as World Effects. Some of the Facebook Messenger World Effects have accompanying audio and sound effects, which should encourage users to start taking videos, as pointed out by 9To5Mac.

The addition of World Effects to the Messenger app signals Facebook’s continued effort in bringing a more visual way of letting users communicate with their friends. It also seems to be another one of Facebook’s attempts to copy one of Snapchat’s key features. Snapchat’s version of World Effects, called World Lenses, was first rolled out to users back in April of this year.

World Effects on Messenger also seems to show how crucial augmented reality is right now. At present, more and more companies are adopting the technology. For instance, Apple and Google both have added native augmented reality support for iOS 11 and Android Oreo.

Facebook says that these are “early versions” of World Effects and users should expect it to improve over time, Engadget has learned. It also seems certain that Facebook will add more World Effects to Messenger, so users should keep an eye out.

“Messaging is more visual than ever, and features like photos, videos, emojis, stickers and GIFs make Messenger the best place for expressing yourself however you want,” Facebook said. “And with recent improvements - like the ability to send high resolution photos in Messenger - awesome visual messaging has a home in Messenger.”

Facebook Facebook has added a new Snapchat-style AR feature on the Messenger app. Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic