- Reality TV star and cosmetics marketer Kylie Jenner launched a custom face filter on Instagram, according to Harper's Bazaar. The feature lets people virtually try on her lipstick products using augmented reality (AR) that overlays digital images on a real background through a smartphone camera.
- Instagram users who click the face button on the bottom right corner of the app's camera screen can access the filter, which lets them try on seven of the most popular Kylie Cosmetics lip colors. Users can then post a video, Boomerang or selfie to their Instagram stories.
- This is the first time Jenner has given fans the opportunity to virtually try on products in her cosmetics line, which is sold only on Kyliecosmetics.com and at the brand's pop-up shops and mobile truck events.
The news points to the potential of AR filters on Instagram, which were opened to third parties in May, to attract social-savvy marketers. Kylie Jenner, who has 112 million followers on Instagram, continuously demonstrates the power of social influencers to market products, especially in the beauty and fashion categories. These products typically appeal to younger women and teens who are tuned in to makeup tutorials on Instagram and YouTube and who share tips and selfies with friends. Jenner this year famously demonstrated her marketing influence by sending out a tweet to her 24.5 million Twitter followers that disparaged Snapchat. The tweet lopped off $1.3 billion of parent company Snap's market value in a matter of minutes.
The episode didn't deter Jenner from working with Snapchat, however. Last month, she partnered with the app on the debut of a native commerce feature that lets influencers earn money from products sold through their posts. Snapchat has tried to appeal more to social influencers like Jenner, including last week's launch of its "Storytellers" program to help match them with marketers. But Instagram is still the clear favorite for influencers. Eighty-nine percent of influencers and 86% of marketers reported using Snapchat less for influencer marketing campaigns this year than they did in 2017, according to a survey by Activate, while 88% of influencers and 92% of marketers said they plan to use Instagram for more campaigns in the future than they did last year.
It's still unclear how well Jenner will help to boost the social commerce space, which has struggled to gain traction. It made up just 2% of revenue in 2016, as 34% of shoppers had never bought anything on social media by the end of 2017, eMarketer found. The market could grow as social media companies add more transaction capabilities and consumers become more comfortable purchasing items through mobile devices and social media platforms.
Kylie Cosmetics is among the beauty brands that have used AR to demonstrate products. L'Oréal this year acquired AR beauty platform Modiface, marking the first time the cosmetics giant acquired a tech company after decades of buying up other beauty brands. Covergirl and Coty have recently increased AR usage to urge virtual makeup trials while tapping into the popularity of beauty-related content on digital channels.