After opening its Spark AR platform on Instagram for all creators, Facebook is already expanding the capabilities of the platform on its Snapchat killer.
On Monday, the company released version 76 of Spark AR Studio, which supports two new AR effect options for developers and other enhancements for creating AR experiences in general.
Most important of the new Instagram AR capabilities is Target Tracking, Facebook & # 39; s version of the Marker Tracking on Snapchat that converts posters, logos & # 39; s and other 2D images into an AR canvas for makers to 3D content and other AR effects.
"Our goal is to make AR as many people as possible in the world That's why expanding target tracking to Instagram is an important milestone, and we also make target-enabled effects available for a wide range of high-to-low-end mobile devices while still providing the best possible user experience. This helps ensure that users in every market have consistent access to and can enjoy Spark AR effects, "said the Spark AR team in a blog post." Although today's targeting extension to Instagram is aimed at static images, we are actively working on additional functionality such as multi-target tracking and moving target tracking, all of which will help new options open when using Spark AR. "
According to a Facebook spokesperson, one advertiser had the opportunity to test the additional functionality. Starbucks used the advanced features for its AR experience on Instagram that delivers the greetings of the season in AR when users scan the 2019 vacation cups.
In addition, makers of AR AR implement Native UI sliders, giving users a control to adjust the impact (such as the size of objects or the intensity of immersion) of an AR effect in real time.
"More personalization by users and giving control, new features such as Native Slider creators help better, more engaging AR experiences on Instagram, "the Spark AR Team said in a blog post.
In addition, Facebook has added two other new features that make creating AR experiences even easier. First, Spark AR collects templates for general AR experiences, such as face masks, background segmentation, color filters, and 3D objects. Second, Spark AR now offers Actions, a set of shortcuts that bundles commonly used sets of patches to reduce developer clicks. Finally, with the new In-App Upload feature, users can publish their creations directly to Spark AR Studio.
The new version of Spark AR Studio can now be downloaded on compatible Mac OS and Windows desktops.
Although some usability enhancements are probably welcome additions for developers, the new features for Instagram also address some gaps between the app and Snapchat. Brands ranging from Nike to HBO have implemented image-based AR ads using Snapchat's Marker Tracking. In addition, the user interface of the slider was an important part of Snapchat & # 39; s new Time Machine lens.
Since its launch in a closed beta last year, Instagram has brought in a number of high-profile advertising clients, with Pepsi and Christian Dior among the brands that have used AR effects for the app.
So while Snapchat and Instagram have different combat fronts between them in the war to capture advertisers, it is generally AR's potential to become the ultimate winner through increased space competition.