Masquerade (or MSQRD) is a “face-swapping” app that lets users send video or still selfie animations to each other, or superimpose celebrities’ faces onto their own.
Founded in 2015 by Eugene Nevgen, Sergey Gonchar and Eugene Zatepyakin, it was bought by Facebook for an undisclosed sum in March. The three founders developed the app during a 48-hour hackathon in November 2015, initially producing a moustache for users to superimpose.
The app has been top of the charts in 20 countries, with a total of 16 million downloads as of March 2016 and is installed on almost a third of iPhones in Russia.
It is thought the founders wanted to develop their product quickly, after Snapchat bought a similar piece of software, Looksery, for a reported $150m (£103.8m) in 2015. The developers will work from Facebook’s London office and it is expected that it will remain a standalone app, for now.