Snapchat is getting a new feature, it has confirmed, after it started to roll out limited trials of the new mode - Cameos.
The new camera mode lets you supplant your face into short videos, before sharing the results on the social media network. That sounds more than a little like deepfake technology, and it does seem to bear some resemblance, although with a less deliberately seamless look to it.
The feature has gone live for some users in France, as the start of a staggered rollout and testing phase. Snapchat says that Cameos isn't yet ready to be activated for all of its users worldwide.
Cameos appears to use selfies as the basis for its tech, and asks users to choose roughly what body they would use in order to select relevant clips, offering a straight choice between male-presenting and female-presenting options. There aren't, at present, any real alternatives in terms of body size and shape.
Vous avez Cameo sur snap ou je suis la seule? Je pleure de rire pic.twitter.com/G7E3ZKAilz— Aca (•‿•) (@toddflanderrs) December 7, 2019
Users can then choose from a range of short videos that Snapchat has made available, transplanting their face onto that of an actor within them. It'll stretch and morph to create facial expressions, too. It's entirely unclear for now whether you'll be able to choose your own videos to use Cameos with, but we'd expect that's pretty unlikely.
The legal ramifications would be complex, and Snap would probably rather ensure that its tech is used for lighthearted content in the first instance.
The feature also appears to have an option for users to allow trusted friends to use their faces for cameos remotely — "two-person cameos", as the French version released roughly translates to.
As TechCrunch's original report, linked below, pointed out, Snapchat's monetisation efforts are still only starting to gather steam, so don't be surprised if Cameos offers chances for sponsored clips, for example from new movie releases, in the near future.