At Thursday’s virtual Snap Partner Summit, Snapchat’s parent company made an in-depth statement: If you use Snapchat, you are a creator.
Of Snapchat’s more than 500 million creators (aka daily active users), about 40% interact with AR on a daily basis to capture content.
Given the appeal of AR in Snapchat, it’s no surprise that Snap used the event to introduce a veritable plethora of new AR capabilities, headlining the latest version of the Lens Studio platform for creating AR experiences .
Lens Studio 4.0 adds new AR capabilities in 3D Body Mesh and Cloth Simulation. The former enhances the full-body tracking introduced in Lens Studio 3.4 with volumetric tracking, making AR effects look more realistic and support for tracking multiple people within the camera image. The latter allows creators to mimic the physics and appearance of textiles so that virtual effects can offset movement and a variety of body types.
The new version also includes a new Visual Effects Editor, which allows creators to add detailed visual effects such as flames, fireworks, snow and the like without coding.
One of the first creators to take advantage of the new capabilities is Disney. A lens that promotes the upcoming movie Cruella, a live-action origin story of the classic 101 dalmatiers villain uses Visual Effects Editor to insert virtual flames, 3D Body Mesh to overlay a virtual dress over the user’s body and Cloth Simulation to make it look silky smooth and form-fitting.
Plus, Snapchat itself is getting new capabilities for Scan, its Google Lens visual search competitor, which has earned a place on the app’s home screen.
Already able to identify songs, plants, dog breeds, wine bottles, car models and more through partner integrations, Scan can now recommend clothing purchases based on outfits identified from the live camera feed or film roll photos through a new feature called Screenshop.
Soon Scanning will also come from an Allrecipes integration. Scan an ingredient and Snapchat will suggest recipes you can prepare based on what it sees.
In addition to Lens Studio 4.0, there are also new Snap creator tools, including a new iOS app called Story Studio. The app provides creators with a wide variety of editing tools to create polished videos and share them directly on Snapchat. Story Studio also provides data on popular sounds, topics and lenses, so creators can create content that is appropriate for their audience.
Snap also makes content created with Lenses more visible by releasing Spotlight, the short video feed, on the web. The Spotlight webpage can be accessed through Chrome or Safari regardless of whether you have a Snapchat account or not. You can also upload videos to Spotlight through the site, but you’ll need a Snapchat account for that.
Finally, Snap launched Creator Marketplace, which it just announced weeks ago. Creator Marketplace serves as a matchmaking service for brands to connect with verified lens makers. The service is limited to the best creators at launch, but will be expanded to a wider audience next year.
“We are all so inspired by the way the Snapchat community around the world uses our camera. Because it is so easy, fast and fun, on average more than 5 billion Snaps are taken every day, making the Snapchat camera a of the most used cameras in the world, “said Bobby Murphy, Snap chief technology officer and Snapchat co-founder, during the keynote presentation.” Whether it’s a quick Snap for a friend or a Creative masterpiece shared with Spotlight, our camera is central to how Snapchatters communicate with loved ones and express themselves. ”
Since the launch of Lens Studio less than four years ago, Snap has expanded its maker community to more than 200,000 users, generating nearly two million lenses accumulating more than two trillion views.
A catalyst for the platform’s success is Snap’s rapid iteration rate, which opens up new opportunities for more engaging AR experiences, full-body tracking, and easy-to-use tools such as segmentation templates.
Now, Snap has not only added more useful features to enhance AR experiences, but it has also expanded its creator tools to further distribute their AR content.