Imagine: Meta makes its AI image generator available as a standalone tool

Meta AI Imagine

Meta has separated Imagine, its AI-powered image generation tool, from its chatbot by giving the service its own dedicated website. In breaking the image generator out of its messaging apps, Meta will be hoping to see faster uptake and increased interest.

The idea behind Imagine is much like the plethora of other AI image generators. Using Meta's own Emu technology, it will create four images based on text prompts and descriptions provided by users. Images are securely watermarked to make it difficult to pass off an AI image as a photo or a human-made creation. But the launch of the service will prove controversial as it will forced interested users into creating a Meta account.

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The requirement for a Meta account means that just having a Facebook or Instagram account is not enough -- but you can use one of these as the basis for a new Meta account. The need to create an account with Meta could serve to discourage some people, particularly those who have managed to avoid getting sucked in to Facebook and Instagram.

In a post about the evolution of Meta AI, the company says:

We've enjoyed hearing from people about how they're using imagine, Meta AI's text-to-image generation feature, to make fun and creative content in chats. Today, we're expanding access to imagine outside of chats, making it available in the US to start at This standalone experience for creative hobbyists lets you create images with technology from Emu, our image foundation model. While our messaging experience is designed for more playful, back-and-forth interactions, you can now create free images on the web, too.

As the announcement makes clear, for now Imagine is a US-only tool and there is no indication of when it is likely to spread to other parts of the world.

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