Written by Wei Rong Loh, Tricia Lee and Denicia Lew

Facebook’s spitting hot BARS

Roses are red, violets are blue. Facebook’s spitting BARS, and so can you. 

Facebook’s internal R&D group NPE Team has launched its next experimental app, called BARS. This is the team’s second launch in the music space, following the previous release of music video app Collab. With TikTok gathering a sizable community for up-and-coming musicians, Facebook definitely wants to shift some of that attention back its way with its new app.

The app allows rappers to rap with ease, by creating and sharing raps using professionally created beats. BARS can also automatically suggest rhymes as you craft your lines, and offers different audio and visual filters to accompany videos as well as an autotune feature. You can record a 60 second video, and in place of hearts for favoriting videos, you give “fire” emoji if the track is hot. 

For strong rappers, there’s Challenge mode where you can freestyle with auto-suggested word cues. The experience also accommodates people who just want to have fun with rap. BARS is currently live in beta on the iOS App Store in the U.S. and opening its waitlist. This means you have some time to figure out and secure a dope nick. Perhaps a rap name generator can help?

Storytime: Twitter releases Fleets to share video updates

Twitter’s version of Stories, otherwise known as Fleets, is getting an upgrade. This week, Twitter added ‘Twemoji’ stickers for Fleets in Japan

The new stickers tray, which can be accessed by tapping on the smiley face icon in the Fleets composer, provides a search option for users to locate the right sticker for their image or video posts, while the Twemoji stickers can help to convey a mood when added to the Fleet frame. These stickers can also be adjusted and moved around according to where the user wishes to add the visual in their Fleet story.

While this new feature might not be allowed Worldwide yet, it is a step towards allowing users to visually express emotions and could be a hint that Twitter will be eventually expanding on the tool to add more visual enhancements, such as AR capabilities or integrating their audio tool Spaces within the Fleets function.

Say hello to a new AI tool that reanimates the dead.

Online genealogy platform My Heritage, has developed a tool that brings old photos to life. The service, called ‘Deep Nostalgia’, uses AI licensed from D-ID to animate a still photo.The technology matches a pre-recorded “driver” video to the photo in order to guide expressions and movements of the static subject. 

Unsurprisingly, it has become subject to the meme lords of the internet, who have tried to push the AI to its limits by experimenting on photos of artwork and statues.

As of now, Deep Nostalgia can only animate faces, and the company has chosen to exclude speech capabilities to avoid the creation of deepfake people. Nonetheless, there have been mixed reactions to the technology, with some users finding it nostalgic and magical, and others finding it creepy and controversial. Regardless, this marks another milestone in the age of synthesized media – one that brings topics of ethics and privacy considerations to the table.

Disclaimer: Featured image taken from gadgets.ndtv.com