Snapchat Launches New AR Lens With Audio

Snapchat adds audio reactivity to their latest Lens.

Since its initial launch in 2011, social media giant has attracted over 300 million monthly active users. Over the past 7 years the company has evolved from a simple app that lets you share photos that disappear within a few seconds, to a full-fledged platform that has helped push the mobile AR experience through ambitious programs like Snapchat Lenses and Filters. That being said, while the past couple of years have been kind to Snapchat, 2018 hasn’t exactly been following the same trend. 

The company failed to hit their Q1 growth goals, and on top of that, their app redesign upset users so much that a petition urging Snap Inc. to reverse the app update hit over 1 million signatures. The service even saw user drop-off beginning in the month of March. All of this coming at a particularly awful time as 2.2 billion Facebook users finally gain to Facebook’s competing AR Stories camera app. 

However, the folks at Snapchat have stayed positive throughout all of this, and have continued to innovate new Lenses and Filters for you to create new Snaps that you can send to your friends and family all around the globe. The company’s latest update offers up a Lens that not only reacts to your facial gestures, but also responds to audio cues from your voice. The new Lens is pretty simple – just open up Snapchat on your smartphone and find the Lens with the cute little neon bear cub ears and heart-shaped nose. Apply the Lens and  begin speaking. You’ll see the ears pulsate to the sound of your voice, all while being able to filter out any type of noise in the background.

Obviously, this update probably won’t turn things around for Snap Inc., but the audio-triggered layer is a first for an AR filter, and shows that Snapchat is dedicated to continuing their quest to make AR experiences more interactive and fun. It also shows that the company is still innovating new ways for social media to play a role in our lives.

When Snap Inc. released Lens Studio back in February, the software gave you the power to create your own unique personalized AR experience that you could share with friends, but from a marketers perspective, it was also a new tool to create custom made experiences designed to promote an event or a product. Part of the apps appeal is that it is not only a fun toy amongst friends, but the perfect tool for seamlessly integrating company logos, or characters from an upcoming movie. The company also recently launched a line of simple AR Lens games that allow users to interact with 3D objects in objective-based scenarios.

Having a Lens that reacts to both facial gestures and audio cues opens up a whole new layer of marketing possibilities for companies to reach out to consumers. This new funcionality could have consumers saying or even yelling product names, perhaps repeating a catchy slogan or tagline to launch the AR experience, or even steer it into different directions. After all, a powerful slogan or tagline  can do wonders for any brand or product. It sometimes even defines the company and can even increase conversation. So organizations leveraging Snapchat’s AR Lens and its ability to react to audio to active the AR experience seems like it would have a lot of potential from a marketing/branding point of view.

Of course, Facebook is always working on making their social media fun and more interactive, so it’s safe to say they are very aware of Snapchats newest audio update. So, the question isn’t do you think team Facebook is looking at how they could bring in an interactive audio AR experience to their Stories app to their 2.2 billion users, but when?

Snapchat’s new audio cued Lens can be found in the carousel of the Snapchat app, but if you don’t see it just yet – sit tight – it’s rolling out to devices slowly and will show up soon.

Image Credit: Jacob Krol Mashable

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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