Facebook is phasing out AR selfie app MSQRD four years after acquisition

The augmented reality app hadn’t been updated in years.

Facebook is saying farewell to its augmented reality selfie app, MSQRD, the company announced on Friday. The tech giant acquired the app in 2016 to boost its AR portfolio. At the time, MSQRD had grown in popularity and climbed up the app charts thanks to its unique array of face filters.

The AR selfie app will be removed from the Android and iOS app stores on April 13th. The company says it will now focus its efforts on Spark AR, its internal platform that allows users to create custom AR effects and share them across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Portal.

It doesn't exactly come as a shock — Facebook made promises it would keep developing MSQRD but stopped making app updates just months after its acquisition, according to Business Insider. Photo filter technology first began to pick up steam in 2014 and has since spawned and dominated on social platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.

It’s no secret that larger companies often acquire smaller companies to crush any chances of competition. Knowing what we know now, it seems Facebook’s MSQRD acquisition and desertion could have been more of a test lab for the robust AR features it has since rolled out across its own platforms.