Snap has acquired AI Factory, the company that helped create the app’s video recognition technology, according to Variety.
Although unconfirmed, Snap reportedly paid around $166 million for the AI start-up.
AI Factory has been launched by the ex-founder of facial recognition start-up Looksery, Victor Shaburov. Looksery went on to be sold to Snap in 2015.
The technology is part of Snapchat’s Cameos feature which allows users to add selfies to their short-form videos.
In other words, it’s a deepfake feature that replaces a person’s face with another’s.
The acquisition follows a recent move by TikTok owner Bytedance to incorporate deepfake features into its Chinese version of the popular video app.
It signals a shift toward more immersive technological features being rolled out to keep app users engaged as the competition for users is becoming fiercer.