Facebook’s AR dev toolkit exits closed beta on Instagram

Not one to let Face App and Snapchat steal its spotlight, Facebook announced today that it’s opening its closed beta of Spark AR on Instagram, letting any developer build and share an augmented reality filter on the platform.

The company announced this change was coming at its F8 keynote earlier this year.

Phone-based AR isn’t the piping-hot platform it was when Mark Zuckerberg devoted the top-half of his 2017 F8 keynote to highlighting the company’s AR Camera Effects platform, but two-and-a-half years later the company is ready to let more developers give it a whirl.

Effects published via the Spark AR app can pop up in a few ways. If a user is following someone that has shared effects on the platform, they may pop up in the user’s effects tray in the camera section of the app. The company is also introducing a new Effects Gallery where users can search for new filters. Instagram isn’t exactly throwing the Effects Gallery front-and-center; to find it, users will have to reach the end of the effects tray in the Instagram camera and click on it there. Users will also be able to see the effect being used in Instagram Stories, which is probably the real ticket to Spark AR features finding any sort of viral hype.