Snapchat introduced its original lens feature in September 2015. This gave people the ability to model flower crowns and transpose puppy features on their faces. This was a groundbreaking development for both the app and social media technology in general, elevating mundane selfies to humorous, glamorous or, at times, frightening images.
Snapchat lenses can be a lot of fun, but they are not particularly relevant to meeting and event planners. Even though geofilters, stickers and other tools have been commonly used to spice up event footage, lenses haven’t had as much of a role in our industry. Today this changes as Snapchat officially releases a new feature called “World Lens.”
Snapchat’s World Lens adds augmented reality graphics to the world around you. The tool allows people and environments to interact with 3D objects, which currently include a weeping cloud, sparkling rainbow and a floating “OMG.” For springtime, one lens allows users to toss seeds across the ground and then watch flowers bloom within seconds. Snapchat revealed that these choices will be updated daily.
Thanks to their animated nature, the 3D objects become lifelike after placement. They float around and get larger as you approach them or smaller as you get farther away. Using the feature is pretty intuitive, especially for those familiar with Snapchat. Here are the basic instructions.
1. Tap the screen while using the rear-facing camera
2. Scroll through various lens options
3. Choose the object and drag its desired placement
Interestingly, the promotional video for World Lens opts out of identifying it as “augmented reality,” In a blog post, Snapchat instead chooses to focus on terms such as “3D experiences” and “paint the world” when describing World Lens.
Overall, Snapchat’s appeal has surpassed ephemeral content and traditional selfies. The platform has become a multifaceted outlet for showcasing unique perspectives and images to a wide scope of onlookers. World Lens is the shiny new option in Snapchat’s toolbox, so planners should begin to consider using it to engage clients, sponsors and attendees by depicting a unique vision of their brand and events.
Still, this is only the beginning. Just as Snapchat geofilters and lenses became customizable and purchasable, the same is likely to happen with World Lens. Imagine being able to place your event or company logo as a 3D object in a snap, or creating a selfie station that encourages attendees to place virtual props and items against a unique backdrop. There are endless possibilities for World Lens.