AR Lenses provide new potential for beauty and fashion brands, with AR tools able to facilitate direct try-on options, in the moment, with increasingly accurate depictions helping to drive more interest, and guide discovery, direct from in-app promotions.
And they could be set to get a lot more engaging, and interactive, based on the latest tools coming from Snap Inc.
This week, at its 2023 Beauty Summit, Snapchat outlined some coming additions for beauty marketers in the app, including post capture Lenses, which enable you to add effects to previously captures images and video, Bitmoji “beauty drops”, a “Beauty Bestie” make-up try-on option, and more.
First off, there’s Snaps new post capture Lenses, which will enable users to apply effects to pictures that they’ve already taken using their camera.
Users can already do this to some degree, by using their images from their Camera Roll as the basis for their creation, or adding filters to an image or video being played on another screen. But this new option will be more specifically designed for this purpose, and will provide post-product touch-up tools to enhance your images.
On another front, Snapchat's new “Beauty Bestie” element will enable users to try on makeup looks that have been designed by professional makeup artists, and will be recommended to each user based on their color palette and mood.
It could be a more interesting way to encourage make-up experimentation, while also promoting products in a more engaging, personalized way.
Snapchat’s also looking to add make-up for your Bitmoji characters, with “Beauty Drops” replicating real-world product launches, so you can add the latest make-up products to your virtual version.
Which seems a bit weird, maybe. I don’t know.
Maybe, given the popularity of Bitmoji (over a billion Bitmoji characters have been created) it makes perfect sense, but it’s not like you’ll be getting an accurate view as to how that make-up will look on you, so not really sure it adds much. But then again, Snap's current Bitmoji fashion drops enable you to dress up your characters in Bitmoji versions of the latest clothes, and they don't really look like they would on you either. So it's the same concept, I guess.
In addition to this, Snap is also testing new sponsored results in its “My AI” chatbot tool, with brands able to link their promotions to keywords within My AI chats. For example, searches for “haircare” could link through to product promotions in-stream, or help Snap advertisers reach those users with promotions in other elements of the app. Snap’s still in the early days of monetization of its AI tools, so it’s not 100% clear how exactly this will drive engagement as yet.
The new features will provide more ways for Snap users to interact with beauty products, and could facilitate a range of new promotional avenues for fashion and beauty brands.
And while there is always an inherent risk in beauty filters, which change the way that people look, sometimes beyond what’s humanly possible, these new elements are more complementary than transformative, which could help to provide more real-world benefits.