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Facebook and The New York Times Team Up for Augmented Reality News Project

By Eric Volkman – Sep 17, 2020 at 9:56AM

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Traditional and new media meet in an effort to deliver next-generation news content.

In what might be a harbinger of how news and other important information will be delivered in the future, Facebook (META 7.89%) and The New York Times (NYT 4.24%) have launched an augmented reality (AR) news project. Under a multiyear collaboration announced this week, the Times will deliver "augmented reality driven reporting" on its Instagram page (Instagram is owned by Facebook).

The Times will also create an AR Lab comprising more than 12 employees. This team will work with a dedicated group of the company's journalists to develop AR content, and to create filters and effects for it. Facebook's Spark AR platform is to be used for the technology; the social media giant will also contribute to the Lab's work in an advisory capacity.

AR content from The New York Times.

Image source: The New York Times Company.

Facebook is also to supply an unspecified level of financial support for the initiative, although the Times stresses that it will have full editorial control over the content.

The Times said that consumers will be able interact with the AR effects on its Instagram content. This material will also be available on the company's flagship nytimes.com website.

The financial terms of the arrangement were not revealed.

The Times has used AR in its coverage since 2018, but on a very limited scale, and solely on its own website. The Facebook collaboration marks a significant expansion of the company's AR efforts, as well as the first time such content will be published on an outside URL.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Eric Volkman owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool recommends The New York Times. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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