Snapchat introduced Lens Studio. Now, you can make your own dancing hotdog filter that can go viral.
The Lens Studio is a self-serve platform that opens up augmented reality tools to developers and creators. Currently, it has seven marketing partners, including Avatar Labs, North Kingdom, MediaMonks, and Fishermen Labs, among others, to make augmented reality ads for brands.
It works like the self-serve ad platform of Snapchat that gives brands and users some resources so they can run campaigns.
On Lens Studio’s website, designers can log in using an account that is tied to Snapchat’s ad platform. From there, they can create, publish and share an AR character.
“Lens Studio is a free desktop app for Mac and Windows with easy to use guides and tools that students, creatives, and developers alike can use to bring their creations to life. Whether you’re just starting to dabble in 2D animation or are a professional artist interested in creating your own experiences, Lens Studio makes sharing your creation with the world fast and fun!” – Snap Team
Over the past year, over 3,000 lenses have been created. These would include the sponsored graphics for Warner Brothers, BMW and Bud Light. Each day, more than 70 million people play with a lens.
“With the launch of Lens Studio, we’re excited to make Lenses more accessible to creators, and experiences within Snapchat more personal and diverse. We’ve seen how much more fun Geofilters have become since first inviting the community to create their own three years ago — and can’t wait to see what you build with Lens Studio!”
The introduction of Lens Studio came after Facebook launched its AR platform to creators and developers this week. It only shows that AR features will be the next wave of innovation to any social media.
It is also a new battle between the two social media platforms that copy each other’s features. Although Facebook and Instagram are the ones that always borrow the elements of Snapchat, this new redesign includes an algorithm that uses machine learning, which works the same way as Facebook’s newsfeed.
Currently, the sales and creative teams of Snapchat are the ones handling all lenses of the platform. With the recent development, Snapchat chose those seven partners to create lenses. These partners specialize in texturing, animation, 3D modeling, and rigging.
The role of these partners will be limited to the creation of lenses as Snapchat will handle the media buying. Lenses have a minimum ad spend of $250,000. That is on normal days. However, for holidays, the ad spend can go up to $750,000. Right now, lenses are priced based on impression. They can cost from $8 to $20.
By opening an AR platform, the company removes the barrier and allow brands to participate in lenses and immersive experiences. In that case, it makes the platform more open to a variety of advertisers.
Snap still insists that it is a camera company. However, its biggest investments would still be content.
Right now, AR and camera are the core to Shapchat. The more than 166 million users understand AR and how it works. But Snap must increase its core offering in some areas and simplify it in other. The company must need to create new products so that users will stick around longer.