How Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram are using Augmented Reality for their Business

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How Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram are using Augmented Reality for their Business

It’s not a secret anymore that each social network makes money through advertising. By being the core of digital marketing strategies, social channels are figuring out the best tactics to promote products and services and implement new ways of delivering interactive experiences. To attract new as well as potential customers ads should grab their attention and make an offer buyer can’t refuse, just like furniture businesses do. One such possibility for ads come in the form of augmented reality.

So, how the most popular social networks use AR?


Snapchat is definitely breaking new ground with AR features allowing users to project various elements into the real world via smartphone cameras. According to Statistics Portal, 190 million people are using Snapchat and on average are spending between 25 to 30 minutes in the app every day.

Why is it so? Funny and sweet filters make plain pictures adorable. Selfie lovers had enough of usual games they want to keep experimenting with their faces. They are in awe of amusing dogs, cute kittens, pretty wreaths and other charming filters allowing looking gorgeous after hard working day. No need to say that one of the ingredients of the spectacular user growth on Snap is their popular filters.

After creating a genuinely new way of communicating, picture-messaging app decided to go even further. Its newest addition, called  Snappables — AR games that use your touch, motion, and facial expressions to compete for high scores — already has a huge number of fans.   Users can challenge their friends and play “Would you rather…”, “That’s what I like!”, or “My face when…” and send those pics to engage with others. From the start, games ranged from fighting aliens to truth or dare, but Snap promised to release new Snappables every week. For now, to generate a couple of new games the app allows users to unleash creativity and create their own magical AR experiences, and share them on the most used augmented reality platform in the world. Nobody did that before using that technology!

How does AR help Snapchat make money? First and foremost, AR is appealing to users. The more users they have the more people will see Snap Ads (10-second videos). Another way SnapChat makes money is Geofilters — AR filters showing your location.

Users are charged for the size of the area and the amount of time where Geofilter is available. Understanding the power lens filters have on Snapchat users, big companies went ahead and launched their sponsored lens filters. Respectively, brands who advertise on Snapchat gain significant exposure and social media reach to their potential customers. Just imagine, famous taco head SnapChat filter was used by 224 million people!

Facebook & Instagram

Facebook seems like grabbing all the best of other social networks. Not long ago, Zuckerberg owned Instagram and grew at a good clip. Similar to Snapchat, Facebook has understood the potential of augmented reality and is promptly integrating this technology into their business and marketing strategies on both channels.

Instagram recently hit 1 billion monthly users and continues to change the way people share and consume things online. We all know how addictive people are to this photo-sharing app and its augmented reality features. While being new to the face filter game Instagram is original in most of its designs and creates lifelike AR experiences.

Facebook generates over half a billion in revenue each year, the vast majority of which comes from advertising. Currently, a social network is working with companies to produce a wide variety of augmented reality ads including fashion accessories, cosmetics, furniture, gaming, and entertainment. Michael Kors will be the first brand to use AR ads. People browsing through the News Feed will see ads for sunglasses and will be able to wear it through their front cameras thanks to augmented reality. Other brands who are said to be using AR advertisements soon, include Sephora, Wayfair, Bobbi Brown, and Pottery Barn.

It’s common knowledge that AR has turned the traditional buying path in which customers move from discovery to purchase. To satisfy the demands of today’s “nonstop” customers, who use digital technologies to continuously evaluate products, services, and brand promises, the most popular social networks are using augmented reality.

Eventually, we see AR giving birth to a completely new target market. If you are inspired to run your own augmented reality campaign or just want to know more about opportunities augmented reality offers, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We’d be more than happy to help you!