Snapchat’s latest update turns NYC’s Flatiron Building into a giant slice of pizza.
Morphing your face and adding dog ears through Snapchat’s AR filter is definitely fun party trick and good for a few laughs, but the company sees its technology offering so much more, and by so much more I mean turning surrounding landmarks into rainbow-puking cartoon characters.
Snapchat Landmarkers is a new AR lens that turns famous man-made structures, such as the Eiffel Tower, into goofy animated characters that stretch up into the air and vomit brightly-colored rainbows; transforming NYC’s Flatiron Building into the tallest cheesiest pepperoni pizza structure you’ve ever seen.
The new Lens was announced last week in Los Angeles during Snap’s first-ever Partner Summit, where the social media company debuted a slew of cool new updates to their app that not only augment your surroundings but also help you do things like your math homework – but more on that later.
To create the Landmarker lenses, Snapchat reached out to their community of creators and asked five talented individuals to reimagine global landmarks in their own fun and original way.
Buckingham Palace by Clara Bacou, Flatiron Building by Nico Shi, Eiffel Tower by Jean-Sébastien Wallez, Chinese Theater by Clay Weishaar, and the Capital Building by Brandon Sears are all available now to all users – but what does each AR Lens do?
You’ll have to travel to each location to find out.
Landmarkers are location-based, meaning you’ll need to be near the landmark to activate the Lens, and so you don’t miss out on a landmark opportunity, the app will let you know if you’re near a Landmarker — so long as Snapchat is open on your device.
Expect more Landmarker locations rolling out to very soon.
Navah Berg, a Social AR/VR Enthusiast and expert in mixed reality PR told VRScout, “When AR is implemented correctly, branding messages and products are revealed with such visual acuity that it will resonate with audiences in an impactful way,” Berg continues, “the uses from a marketer’s perspective are endless especially after they add more than five places to their Landmarkers.”
On top of Landmarkers, Snapchat announced other new features such as the ‘AR Bar’ and ‘Scan’. These new additions will turn Snapchat into a more useful tool for discovery, shopping, and connecting with friends. These features aren’t available yet, but Snapchat says, “soon”.
You are already able to take a quick Snap to search and buy the same glasses that your bestie has on her head right from Amazon and even Snap a song right out of the air to find the artist via Shazam. However, this new update now includes Photomath which will let you solve pesky math problems with a single Snap and let you search for all of your favorite gifs through Giphy.
Snap Games was also introduced, allowing you to launch games straight from the Chat bar and play instantly with friends on Snapchat.
For anyone interested in creating their own Lens or Filter, Snapchat is launching Lens Studio 2.0, which will introduce new templates into the foray so that you can bring AR effects to your hands, body parts (hey now), and even your pets. The update will also be perfect for brands, allowing them to create even more interactive advertising content.
As Berg explains during her interview, “brands should be paying attention, getting creative and acting on this early to set themselves apart, it’s an opportunity to reach their audience when their mindset is truly ready to consume their data. Currently, social media connects us to people and now with Landmarkers, places as well.”
In a 2019 Statista report, Snapchat has roughly 287 million active users, which compared to Facebook with 2,271 million active users, is a low number. However, the company recently reported massive growth in the last quarter with sales up a record $390M, and it’s stock price doubling from $5.79 on the first day of trading to its current price of $12.30.