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Lens Studio lets anyone create AR effects for Snapchat

Snap, the company behind prominent messaging app Snapchat, has released Lens Studio, a software for producing augmented reality effects for still photos and videos. What used to be an in-house application is now in the hands of all who want to dabble in creating their own AR experiences for use in Snapchat.

Lens Studio is Snap’s second app, and it’s available on Mac OS X and Windows. The release of this design platform is actually the most recent in a series of similar stories: Facebook opened its AR platform earlier this week, as well as Amazon earlier this month.

With Lens Studio opening up to advertisers and users, the company is sure to receive a flood of new content in the coming months. To motivate the creation process, Snap will be organizing Lens Studio Challenges, including one for New Year’s that’s running right now. Winners of these contests will receive a “swag bag” that’ll include an iPad Pro, among other goodies.

Among growing competition between all AR/VR development suites, Snap seems to be one of the first to take an extreme customer-centric user-friendly approach. Which begs the question – will you be taking part in creating your own Snapchat lenses?