Snapchat promotes third-party AR lenses in bid to foster influencer community
- Snapchat will soon feature lenses made by third-party content creators and artists in the app's carousel on the main screen, according to a report in Mashable. The change is intended to help the social network engage creators by helping them better use the app.
- Snapchat's Lens Studio, the tool for creating augmented reality experiences, is open to anyone, and creators can choose to have the lenses they develop potentially selected for placement in the carousel. The Lens Studio launched in December and has seen some early traction, including 30,000 submissions and more than 1 billion views on lenses, per Mashable.
- The latest update, which Snapchat is calling "creator boosts," comes as part of the platform's efforts to promote its community. Creator-made lenses will be limited initially, and those that are selected will show on creator's Snapchat display name.
Snapchat's decision to promote third-party lenses on the main screen of its platform opens up new possibilities for influencers who, to date, have not had much of a presence on the notoriously insular app, instead favoring its competitors like Instagram. The lenses might also put Snapchat a step forward as a leader for providing AR content tools — an increasingly competitive space. For now, the creator boosts can't be branded and creators won't be paid for their efforts so as not to compete with Snapchat's promoted lenses, per Mashable, but that could be subject to change and such posts still have the potential to reach the platform's 187 million daily active users,
In another effort to support influencers, Snapchat recently added an in-app analytics tool to help content creators access viewership details about their Stories, according to Business Insider. The tool lets influencers uncover their audience demographics, interests, time spent on posts and completion rate. They can additionally use the data to plan future strategies and attract sponsorships.
Snapchat highlighting a commitment to building out its community follows an app redesign that received heavy backlash from users and is speculated to have driven some of them to other platforms like Instagram. Reality TV star and influencer Kylie Jenner also caused Snapchat parent company Snap Inc.'s stock price to fall 6.1%, erasing $1.3 billion in market value essentially overnight, after tweeting that she didn't use Snapchat anymore. However, Snapchat last month reported a major increase in downloads following the redesign, as first-time installs jumped 55% week over week by 322,000.