Snapchat may have debuted as a platform for impermanent messaging, but in recent years they’ve also emerged as a leader in augmented reality. Speaking to people in public about AR may raise some eyebrows, but explaining that things like their favourite Snapchat Lenses or Pokemon Go are the result of AR will instantly familiarize them. Having long embraced the new technology in its application, Snapchat is now embracing an AR marketing initiative on multiple fronts.
The most prominent of these stories to come out recently is in Shoppable AR, a platform through which advertisers can use augmented reality to advertise their products within the Snapchat app, specifically through AR lenses. This form of marketing allows a higher degree of interactivity, and allows users to head straight to related websites/apps/videos through a button within the app.
The implementation of Shoppable AR inside Snapchat Lenses tackles two problems inherent to marketing: user engagement and accessibility. AR is inherently more interactive than a static advertisement, and the multiple functions of the in-app buttons allow users to quickly access the product being advertised if it interests them. This is much more convenient than, say, calling a number in a TV advertisement.
A bit earlier this week, a start-up called Kabaq teamed up with the Bareburger chain to bring AR menus to Snapchat. These menus allow users to view their meals in front of them through augmented reality before ordering it, using a photorealistic scan of the food that can be closely observed in AR and easily shared on social media.
How this new revenue source is going to play out for Snapchat can’t yet be ascertained, but it is clear the company’s big bet on augmented marketing has great implications for the world of AR at large.