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Snapchat introduces new feature allow creators turn local landmarks into AR experiences

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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Today, the American social media giant Snapchat is taking a step toward its goal of overlaying the physical world with digital objects by launching a new feature that lets creators turn local landmarks into augmented reality (AR) experiences.

Announcing the new feature called, “Custom Landmarkers,” the social media giant said it would allow creators to create customized AR experiences for local sites they care about. 

The functionality, which is available in the business’s Lens Studio, may be used to construct landmarkers for items like monuments and storefronts in creators’ local areas.

After being teased during Snap’s Lens Fest event in December, the new function is now available. Physical Snapcodes placed at the landmark or on a Lens creator’s profile can be used to find the new custom landmarkers.

The new feature, according to Snapchat, is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to improve its AR platform and empower its community of 250,000 Lens makers to create new experiences that improve how users learn and explore.

In 2019, the company launched Landmarkers, which are templates of 30 well-known sites from around the world that designers can customize. However, the AR creative community has an infinite number of options for creating anchored, location-based Lenses.

The newly launched Landmarkers in Lens Studio will enable creators to convey richer tales about their communities through AR by allowing them to anchor Lenses to local locations.

Snap’s Lens Network members got first access to the custom landmarkers and have already started launching AR experiences in their communities. In New York City, creator Qreal has transformed the storefront of the city’s first Asian-American-owned independent bookstore into a paper pop-up book.

In Los Angeles, developer BLNK turned Paul Smith’s pink wall into an AR canvas featuring Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa’s new song Sweetest Pie.

The firm claims that as it develops its augmented reality platform, it wants to make sure that the experiences created by creators enhance its users’ well-being. Snapchat moderates AR material on its platform to achieve this. It states that all Lenses must be approved by its moderation team before they can be made public.

The business revealed at its Lens Fest event that 250,000 lens developers from over 200 countries have created 2.5 million lenses that have been seen over 3.5 trillion times. 

Meanwhile, Snapchat’s TikTok clone Spotlight paid out a total of $250 million to 12,000 producers for their posts. Over 65 percent of Spotlight submissions, according to the business, employ one Snapchat’s creative tools or lenses.

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