Snapchat for some time now has slowly but certainly been building out Lenses, its augmented reality face filter platform, both as a way to keep users hooked on taking selfies and as a way to earn money from advertisers. According to the report reaching us from our sources, Snapchat will introduce its new Shoppable AR feature which allows advertisers to display and sell products through the app’s Lenses. The new feature builds on one Snapchat first introduced almost three years past when for the first time, it allowed companies to create branded filters on its Lens platform and shortly thereafter opened its Lens Store to sell the AR face masks for $0.99 a pop.
Because of this feature, advertisers can add a button to a Lens which will direct users to a website where they can buy an associated product. The feature is beginning with a few low-key partnerships. Our sources report that one of those partners is the hair care provider Clairol, which is selling a “beauty product trial” through snapchat and the other one is Adidas, which is selling a pair of Deerupt running shoes.
There are a few branded exercises that are not directly selling products, but they will help hawk games and movies you could consume besides Snapchat. For example, mobile app developer King has a special Candy Crush Saga filter that doubles as an AR game you can play right there within app, and media production company STX Entertainment is using Snapchat to promote Amy Schumer’s new movie – Feel Pretty – with a link to the trailer.
This new brand-friendly Lens feature builds on Snapchat’s introduction of Lens Studio which will give users the liberty to create design and release the app’s signature AR filters for the first time using a set of included tools, objects, and effects. According to the parent company of Snapchat, Snap Inc, Lenses are used by more than 70 million users every day and they are disputably the most unique and potentially profitable advantage the company has over Facebook-owned Instagram, which is a popular destination for ephemeral Stories but not necessarily the AR face filters which Snapchat popularized many years ago.