Snapchat is introducing a new set of audio-triggered Lenses which are able to recognize different words and use them as cues for effects.
As reported by TechCrunch, the new Lenses can be triggered by using English words like “hi,” “love,” “yes,” “no,” and “wow” – in the example above, the trigger words (left to right) were “hi”, “wow” and “love”.
It’s another interactive, fun option for Snaps, and with Lenses being used by a third of the app’s daily audience, it makes sense for Snap to add in new ways to build on their popularity where possible.
But Snap’s new offering is not entirely original – another, recently launched app called Panda does the exact same thing, providing digital animations on screen based on spoken terms.
It makes sense for Snap to copy the feature – and worth noting, Snap has been developing audio-triggered Lenses for some time, with initial tests seen earlier this year.
But it still seems very similar to Panda’s tool. I guess, since Instagram copied Stories, the gloves are off in many respects.
And while that may take some of the gloss of this being a ‘new’ addition for Snap, it’ll still likely prove popular. As noted, Snapchat users are already engaging with Lenses, and are always keen to try out the latest addition. The fact that it’s similar to another app will likely be lost on most.
But does it mean that Snapchat’s own innovative capacity is running out of steam?
Snap was able to gain such a significant, loyal following because due to its capacity to move fast, providing industry-first tools and options which compelled users to talk about them and share them with friends.
With Facebook putting the pressure onto Evan Spiegel and Co., it does seem that Snap has slowed on the originality front. Snapchat is still hugely popular, and new tools like this add to the broader offering within the app – and definitely, audio-triggered Lenses could hold potential beyond mere fun, with future ad options built on the same technology.
But it doesn’t feel as fresh - it feels as though some of the shine has gone from Snapchat’s initial, world-beating approach.
As noted, users might not care, but it does feel different. Whatever that may mean.