Move over, Bitmoji.
Snapchat has millions of active users ‘snapping’ messages and photos every single day. Millions of those snaps are enhanced through one of Snapchap’s many AR filters (‘Lenses’).
These Lenses are fixed filters—you can’t modulate how they work, only let them work their magic on you.
Last Thursday, Snapchat took the steps toward giving users the power to create their own unique AR for use with their own snaps, with the release of a new desktop tool called Lens Studio.
If you feel like creating AR is way out of you’re league, fear not. Staying on brand, Snapchat has built Lens Studio to be fun and approachable, and created great guides and templates with pre-built 3D and 2D content, interactive taps, and animated files. They even have a YouTube channel with super easy step-by-step tutorials with Snapchat content creators; all to help you get started on your AR filter.
There is even a fun challenge with cool prizes such as a Lens Studio Swag Bag, which includes an iPad Pro, and your Lens will be featured on the Snapchat carousel for millions of users to play with. More Lens Studio challenges are expected for the upcoming year.
Publishing your new AR creation is simple: pair your phone with the Lens Studio app—the same way you’d follow a new user—by taking a photo of a Snapcode. Once paired, creators can then share their filter with other users.
Where Lens Studio shows a lot of promise is it takes Snapchat and turns into something that is more than a photo sharing app. It’s now a great marketing tool for brands with the ability to promote items or services using special custom Snap filter, and then have them appear on the app’s carousel through CPM (cost per million) distribution, which will run them between $8 to 20 CPM.
On the not-so-corporate level, you could create a Snapcode to promote your band’s next gig, or maybe you’re posting in search of work.
Think of it as the evolution of the flyer that you would see posted on mailboxes, walls or street poles; but instead of a flyer with information, you just have a Snapcode.
Let’s also not forget about the potential of Lens Studio in the learning environment. With so many kids learning how to code—and using Snapchat—this could be a great way to bridge the two as an educational tool.
Lens Studio is available now as a free download for both PC and Mac.