How To: Get Bokeh on Any Phone with Facebook Messenger's Portrait Selfies

Get Bokeh on Any Phone with Facebook Messenger's Portrait Selfies

Portrait mode works with any dual-lens iPhone, as well as the single-lens iPhone XR, and lets you take impressive portraits with blurry, bokeh-filled backgrounds. Portrait selfies, on the other hand, are only available devices with Face ID. But that's only for Apple's Camera app itself — third-party apps like Messenger have "portrait" selfies for any iPhone — as well as any Android phone model.

Whether you have an iPhone SE or Google Pixel, an update to the Facebook Messenger app will let you take selfies with blurred backgrounds, creating that depth that normal cameras can usually only create. However, it's not Apple's mode being used here but Facebook's own algorithms to fake depth in your images.

It should be noted that Messenger's new "Seflie" mode only works for selfies, as the name implies, not regular depth-filled photos with the back camera. Yes, it's odd that Facebook would omit rear portrait mode, as Instagram already has it baked-in. It's really anyone's guess why Facebook wouldn't implement both with Messenger, but maybe it's coming in another future update.

While we don't have access to this feature yet, we believe it will act similarly — if not identically — to how Instagram implements portrait mode. As per Facebook's previews, we know that to get to portrait mode, you need to swipe to "Selfie" in the features carousel at the bottom of Messenger's camera. According to The Verge, Messenger will automatically blur out the background, allowing you to take a selfie with this bokeh effect without having to enable any other settings.

Images via Facebook

Selfie portrait mode wasn't the only new feature announced for Messenger. Users can also look forward to taking Boomerangs in-app, avoiding the trip to Instagram or the Facebook app to shoot these looping videos. Also, there are AR stickers to enjoy.

Cover image by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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