Instagram Adds Snapchat-Style AR Selfie Lenses And Tests Location-Based Public Stories

What Happened
It looks like Facebook is not done copying Snapchat just yet. With its latest update on Tuesday, now Instagram users can try out so-called “face filters” in the Instagram camera, which works similarly to the Selfie Lenses that Snapchat popularized. Instagram users can tap the new face effect icon to try out eight different filters, including animated crowns, cute animal features, and other AR effects that track your face and respond to motion.

In addition, Instagram has also started testing a new feature that allows users to view all publicly shared Stories with same location sticker. Users can then visit that business, landmark or place’s Instagram page and watch a slideshow Story of posts from there shared by strangers they don’t follow. Snapchat used to have a similar local Stories feature that compiles together user-generated content based on locations, but it has discontinued the feature to focus on more on live events.

What Brands Need To Do
Both new features are part of the homogenizing trend in social and messaging app design, led largely by Facebook’s relentless efforts to curb Snapchat’s growth. For brands, the rapid growth of Instagram and its camera-focused update signal the increasing opportunities for brands to conquer the smartphone’s camera screen. With the quick advancement of machine learning and AI-powered solutions, we are starting to see examples of brands primarily using the camera as an input source of the mobile user interface and leverage images to learn about user intent. Combined with the upcoming developments on Facebook’s Camera Effects Platform, announced last month at its F8 developer conference, this trend means brands should be looking into camera AR features as a way to update their digital user experience to be more intuitive and convenient for mobile users.


Source: Amazon Alexa Blog