December 18, 2017
Snapchat launched its Lens Studio AR developer tool for desktop that enables users to build augmented reality experiences for the platform. Anyone can now create World Lenses for adding interactive 3D objects to photos and video content. “But brands, news publishers and developers will have to promote their own Lenses by marketing their QR Snapcodes that users scan to unlock an AR effect for 24 hours,” reports TechCrunch. “That’s because Snapchat won’t display these Community Lenses in its camera unless businesses pay a partnered creative agency to build them a special effect and then buy Sponsored Lens ads from Snap.”
The new Lens Studio tool could help Snapchat compete with the recently launched Camera Effects AR platform from Facebook.
To start, Snapchat’s platform only lets users create World Lenses and not selfie masks, but “more AR toys will give Snapchat a much-needed boost to sharing and viewing at a time when user growth has slowed to a trickle in the face of Instagram’s competition,” suggests TechCrunch.
The Lens Studio desktop app for Mac or Windows is currently available for download. According to TechCrunch, “anyone from 2D Photoshop newbies to experienced 3D animators and coders can jump into making basic image overlays or reactive AR characters.”