Facebook acquires face-swapping app creator Masquerade Technologies

Facebook Inc has acquired Masquerade Technologies Inc., a Minsk, Belarus-based start-up that has created the popular face-swapping app MSQRD.

Masquerade did not reveal the financial terms of the transaction, but said it had raised $1 million in seed funding from European investors like Yuri Gurski and Gagarin Capital.

Founded in 2010 by Eugene Nevgen, Sergey Gonchar and Eugene Zatepyakin, Masquerade has developed an application similar to photo and video messaging app Snapchat, by the name of MSQRD, which allows users to face swap, or add filters to their selfies.

MSQRD allows users to record video selfie animations, change the way they look and send it to friends via their favorite messengers and social networks.

The app became a hit and got 15 million users in just three months. It also became a hit on  Apple's App Store and has received an average rating of 5 stars.

 ''At Masquerade, we've worked hard to make video more fun and engaging by creating filters that enhance and alter your appearance. Now, we're excited to join forces with Facebook and bring the technology to even more people,'' said Masquerade co-founder Eugene Nevgen in a blog post.

''Within Facebook, we're going to be able to reach people at a scale like never before. For starters, we'll be able to bring our technology to Facebook's audience of nearly 1.6 billion people. This is a scale of audience we never imagined was possible,'' he added.

MSQRD will continue to be a standalone app and its co-founders will work out from Facebook's London office.

The deal comes nearly three years after The Wall Street Journal reported that Snapchat had rejected a $3 billion takeover offer from Facebook.