Snap launches a certification program for AR shops to craft branded lenses | Social Media

Snap has announced a partner program intended to make it easer for brands to get on board with — and pay for — its augmented reality ‘lenses’ by helping find certified AR shops to the digital product placements on their behalf.

The move follows the visual messaging opening up lenses, almost a year ago, to outside developers — with the launch of a Lens Studio AR developer tool.

Snap’s lenses use a combination of AR and hyper personalization as their selling strategy — by superimposing content directly onto users’ faces and/or around their person. This means the advert becomes all but inescapable (at least to the user’s friends) as stuff gets mapped onto and/or injected into their personal content where it can piggyback on sharing to shoot for viral spread.

At launch, Snap says the global Lens Creative Partner Program has more than 30 certified ‘creators’ listed — with the largest number located in the US, followed by the UK, then Canada and Australia. (A similar number of partner shops are also badged as global.)

Snap says additional regions are being launched in a few weeks, and it says it’s expecting to onboard 100+ creators over the next few months.

“To be certified, creators had to be experienced in developing quality AR and complete a rigorous course about the development process, creative best practices, ad policies and buy models of sponsored AR Lenses on Snapchat.”“Today we are announcing the launch of a Lens Creative Partners program specific to building AR Lenses for brands. This group of certified creators spans large agencies and expert individuals who have been building engaging and immersive AR Lenses for Snap,” it writes in a blog post announcing the program.

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It’s not as instantly arresting as cat lenses but Snap’s push to expand advertiser interest in paying for the chance to virtually adorn users with branded content — by making it easier to find a tried and tested AR shop to do the work — will probably result in Mr Tibbles wearing a lot more virtual merch on his head in future.

So expect plenty more feline indignity in future.

Snap says that more than one in three of its 186 daily active users play with AR lenses on the each day, averaging three minutes each — adding up to a collective 500 years of daily AR play time.

Just think how much quality cat petting time people are missing out on.

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