Facebook's looking to maximize its AR potential with the re-launch of its Spark AR Partner Network program, which aims to connect both brands and creators with AR experts to help build new experiences on Facebook and Instagram.
As explained by Facebook:
"With over 400,000 creators across 190 countries, the Spark AR ecosystem has grown quickly, and with this growth, a thriving new marketplace has also taken shape: brands are increasingly seeking creators for a range of AR projects, and more AR creators are building careers and businesses through work-for-hire relationships with brands."
The Spark Partner Network facilitates this connection, with 95 partners, consisting of both agencies and individual creators, now listed on a dedicated site.
400k AR creators sounds like a lot, but clearly, many are looking to invest in AR, and the potential that it holds, in various respects. Snapchat says that over 1.5 million Lenses have been created by its community through its Lens Studio tool, which further highlights the growing enthusiasm for AR tools, and the possibilities that can be enabled through visual enhancements.
And that's only going to become a bigger consideration. Facebook's also working on AR-enabled glasses, under its Project Aria research, which it expects to make available to the public sometime next year.
That will massively expand the potential of AR, with digital overlays on your vision providing additional info, prompts, ads, and more.
The potential for brand outreach here is huge, and Facebook's looking to lead that trend with this new partner network forming a key element in its next stage of development. At this stage, I would say that Snapchat still holds an edge over Facebook in its innovative usage of AR, but Facebook has all the tools, all the capacity to be the lead player in the space.
Project Aria will be key in this, and as more brands look to incorporate AR functionality, Facebook will need the Spark Partner Network to facilitate new development.
You can learn more about the re-launched Spark AR Partner Network here.