Facebook is adding AR 3D drawing to its Stories camera. REUTERS/Thomas White

Facebook is expanding the features of Stories. It’s been discovered recently that Facebook will be adding augmented reality doodles and Instagram’s Boomerang to its Stories camera.

The new Facebook Stories features were first discovered by The Next Web’s Matt Navarra on Twitter, who also shared videos of the new features in action. The new creative tools are believed to be part of Facebook’s strategy to make sure that Stories becomes more popular with users and to better compete with its rival, Snapchat.

“We wanted to give people an easy way to create with augmented reality and draw in the world around them,” Facebook Camera product manager John Barnett told TechCrunch. The AR doodle feature will be called “3D drawing,” and it is rolling out to all users in the coming weeks.

The 3D drawing feature will allow Facebook Stories users to doodle whatever they want on the world around them using augmented reality. When users draw something using the new feature, it will stay in place when they move around the camera. Users will also be able to add 3D drawing before or while they’re recording with the Facebook Stories camera. The only brush available for 3D drawing at the moment is the pastel gradient brush, but Facebook is planning to add more brushes moving forward.

Facebook says that its AR technology in the app’s camera is able to detect surfaces like walls and tables. This enables the 3D drawing to stick to or even wrap around them and appear in three dimensions when users move around the camera. The tech seems to work fine, but it will still depend on the environment and the current lighting conditions.

Another thing that Facebook is adding to its Stories camera is Instagram’s Boomerang feature, which lets users record short GIF-like videos that loop back-and-forth. Facebook says Boomerang is currently rolling out to all users.

This isn’t actually the first time that Facebook added a GIF-like feature to its built-in camera. Last year, the company added a GIF option to its Stories camera, but for some reason, that option is no longer available for some users. Perhaps Facebook is planning to completely replace it with Instagram Boomerang, which is far more popular and already well-established.

The upcoming new features in Facebook Stories appear to be part of the company’s plan to make Stories more popular among users. Last week, it was also reported that Facebook is testing three different ways to make Stories more prominent on its mobile app.