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MSQRD (pronounced Masquerade) was a mobile application developed by a Belarusian startup in 2015 that allowed users to apply real-time filters and effects to selfies and videos taken with smartphones or cameras. MSQRD quickly rose in popularity among its user base due to enabling transformation into various characters, animals, or celebrities within seconds of upload.

MSQRD enabled users to apply real-time filters and effects using their smartphone's front camera in real-time, using facial recognition technology to track users and overlay appropriate filters and effects accordingly. Furthermore, its interactive filters responded to movements within its environment for a truly enjoyable user experience.

MSQRD quickly gained widespread acclaim among tech enthusiasts and celebrities alike, eventually garnering the acquisition of MSQRD by Facebook in 2016. Through this deal, Facebook integrated MSQRD technology into their suite of apps - such as Facebook and Instagram - enhancing video capabilities while providing users with new ways to express themselves using Augmented Reality filters.

MSQRD led to other AR filter apps like Snapchat becoming popular with millennials and younger generations, demonstrating its potential in social media platforms and opening doors to future developments within this field. Its success also laid a path for future advances within AR technology itself.

However, in 2020 Facebook announced its plans to discontinue MSQRD and integrate its features into both Facebook and Instagram as part of its efforts to streamline product offerings and focus on core features. Even after its discontinuance, MSQRD remains an iconic cultural reference and pioneer of the AR filter industry.

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