Snap Inc., the owner of the popular photo/video messaging app, Snapchat, is making big moves to monetise its (166 million daily active users as of 2017) user base in a race to compete with Facebook’s Instagram.
The tech company is introducing a new feature called ‘Shoppable AR’ as an addition to its augmented reality lenses customarily used for face filters. The new facility will enable Snap’s advertisers to direct users to initiate more activities or open their websites with a single click.
In appearance, the commercial lens will be designed to look just like any other lens in the gallery with the only different being an extra button that prompts people to take further action, if they wish to do so.
Brands can use this to take shoppers towards a product promotion or a page on their ‘website’, along with options to ask users to ‘install’ an app or watch a ‘video’, which can be used to show a trailer/teaser and even massively popular how-to clips.
Snapchat has been one of the earliest investors in making AR user-friendly for the masses to take ‘selfies’ or record videos to send to their friends. Not surprisingly, Snap’s new offering is being dubbed as ‘selfie-commerce’ by the industry.
To kick things off, the AR Commerce lens are going to be employed by Clairol, Adidas, STX Entertainment and Candy Crush-owner King. While Clairol and Adidas will be using the ‘website’ functionality to promote products, STX will direct people to watch the trailer of the new Amy Schumer film ‘I feel Pretty.’
Whether Snap’s new proposition is going to lead to any quantifiable success and convert direct sales or simply serve as an elevated marketing tool, is uncertain.
Nevertheless, it prompts companies to take AR lenses and Snapchat itself, more seriously. The company is also offering free direct response data to lenses advertisers so that they know how many people are actually interacting with the new feature.