The term augmented reality (AR) can seem quite complex at first, but what you may not realize is that you’ve probably been using AR technology for quite some time. Augmented reality refers to an “an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli and delivered via technology.” 

Today, AR features are incorporated into most social media platforms. Two of the most popular examples of AR features on social media are Snapchat and Instagram filters.

Currently, Snapchat has 250 thousand lends creators with over 2.5 million lenses available for users to experiment with. These include a variety of filters with different purposes, such as adding animated effects to the background of your live camera, morphing your face to a desired effect, changing the lighting of your image, etc. While AR lenses started off as a fun way for users to play around with their selfies on the app, Snapchat has evolved their AR features to include branded and custom experiences. AR Lenses are an excellent way for brands to connect with their consumers as it provides them with an interactive and memorable experience. For example, Snapchat is said to be releasing a new AR feature called Dress Up which will allow consumers to virtually try on clothes from retailers and save them to purchase. Additionally, they will allow brands to integrate the Dress Up tool into their own apps and websites, which will help increase conversions.

Source: TechCrunch

Instagram has also done an excellent job of creating AR experiences for users. Face filters are an extremely popular feature that Instagram users utilize to enhance their images – this can include anything from applying a filter to make your skin glow to having dog ears or freckles. Similar to snapchat, celebrities and brands can create custom filters for users to use in their stories. One example of a brand that did a great job of creating a AR lens to interact with  consumers is Gucci. As seen in the image below, Gucci created a lens with different wig styles. While wearing a (virtual) wig doesn’t necessarily have to do with Gucci, it was a creative and fun way to strengthen their bran identity and engage users. 

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

Overall, AR filters and lenses are a great way to engage with consumers on social media platforms. It appears that the trend of AR is only growing, and social media platforms will continue to update their AR features to keep up with the latest innovations.