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Snap CEO Evan Spiegel unveiled a number of augmented reality experiences for Snapchat consumers at the fifth annual Snap Partner Summit 2023 today.
While Snap isn’t putting as much work into making its own games now, the company is adding AR features that make Snapchat into a more interesting gaming platform or offering more game-like experiences. And it’s also adding more AI to the platform.
“We’re so grateful for all of the creativity you have shared with Snapchatters around the world,” Spiegel said. “750 million people use Snapchat every month, reaching the vast majority of 13-34 year olds in more than 20 countries. We all love Snapchat because it gives us a better way to communicate with our friends and family.”
He said Snapchat’s different focus is more about ephemeral communication than getting attention, and he said that people are “exhausted by the social media popularity contest.”
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He said, “We’re fed up with having to look pretty or perfect in every post. Tired of competing for likes and comments. Exhausted by misinformation.”
Snap is continuing to enhance the live music experience by building on a multi-year partnership with Live Nation: now bringing custom AR experiences to 16 of the world’s biggest festivals including Governors Ball in New York and Lollapalooza Paris.
And it is introducing a new integration with Disguise, the industry’s leader in live event visualization, that will bring Snap AR to the world’s largest venues and tours. During a show, fans can see AR visuals through the Snapchat camera that interact with the on-stage visual production.
The company is also teaming up with one of the world’s most famous DJs, Kygo, to bring AR into some of his live shows this summer.
Snap also shared more about AR Enterprise Services (ARES), which brings Snap’s AR technology suite beyond Snapchat, and into customers’ owned-and-operated apps and websites.
ARES brings technology into customers’ own apps and websites, as well as stores. ARES’ first offering for retailers, Shopping Suite, has already shown success for businesses to improve brand loyalty, decrease product return rates, and differentiate in a competitive environment, said Brooke Berry, head of talent development at Snap, during the keynote.
Thanks to Shopping Suite, partners are able to provide shoppers with new ways to check out products in
3D, try on apparel and accessories in AR, and receive fit recommendations with AI. Shopping Suite is made up of five features, including 3D Viewer, AR Try-On, and Fit Finder to make it easier to shop with confidence and allow retailers to make AR creation and management simple, fast, and cost-effective.
It has an AR Try-On feature where shoppers can try-on new styles of clothing, footwear, and accessories in real time. This includes Clothing Try-On technology, which allows shoppers to upload a photo of themselves to instantly see how a product looks on them, and Accessory Try-On, which lets shoppers interact with products in AR experiences live, directly from product detail pages.
And it has a 3D Viewer, an interactive product visualization experience that lets shoppers review every angle and detail of an item. There is also a Fit Finder, an AI technology to give shoppers highly accurate fit and size recommendations for their unique body shape and fit preferences.
And there is an Enterprise Manager, a front-end dashboard and backend infrastructure to manage and create AR assets, implement the Shopping Suite SDK, create AR experiences, and manage 3D asset catalogs — all while seeing real-time performance analytics for consumer engagement and conversions.
Today, Snap introduced a new ARES service called AR Mirrors. The AR Mirrors bring the power and
creativity of AR to businesses in their own physical spaces and events, so that customers can virtually try
on products, play with engaging and fun experiences that encourage them to create and share content,
and receive helpful guides and explanations to learn more about the products they see in the store.
Brands that create innovative experiences, such as virtual try-ons and using AR in-store, are 82% more
likely to be recommended to others, making AR Mirrors a must-have addition to stores. Retail brands like
Men’s Wearhouse and Nike have already used AR Mirrors to enhance the in-store experience, and Snap currently has an AR Mirror in a Men’s Wearhouse store to get shoppers ready for prom and wedding
Snapchat+ and Bitmojis
He noted that Snapchat+, a subscription service that offers access to experimental features, now has more than 3 million subscribers. Next month, Verizon customers will be able to subscribe as a part of Verizon’s +play platform.
Bitmoji’s style has changed quite a bit since it was launched, and continues to evolve. Soon, Snap will introduce a fresh look that will make your avatar feel more expressive and more like you with realistic dimensions, shading, and lighting.
Snapchatters’ avatars are a true reflection of themselves, and are instantly recognizable to their friends. Sneakerheads and fashionistas alike love updating their outfits. In fact, 74% of Snapchatters dress their Bitmoji in the same brands they wear in real life, Spiegel said.
Snapchatters also take pride in being the first to show off new Bitmoji swag, he said. Converse has become a fan-favorite, with Snapchatters dressing their Bitmoji from the Converse collection over 3.5
billion times since it launched just last year.
Snap is also bringing digital fashion from brands like Marvel to the Bitmoji community. Fans will be able to accessorize their Bitmoji with iconic apparel inspired by some of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe.
And, just a few months ago, we introduced the first-ever Bitmoji Drop that allows Snapchatters to use Snap Tokens to unlock exclusive clothing. Now Snapchatters have a new way to discover digital fashion, and partners have an opportunity to bring their brands to a new surface. Bitmoji’s fashion marketplace is growing and there’s much more to come later this year.
Spiegel also said that nearly 1.7 billion Bitmojis have been created — up from 1 billion just last year and soon these avatars will show up in a new dimension, with a new style that feels more expressive, personal, and real.
Snap is also opening up its Stories revenue share program so more creators can join. This program places ads within select creators’ Stories, providing recurring cash payouts for their real, ”behind-the-scenes” content.
Creators in the Stories revenue share program are posting more often to Snapchat and the total time Snapchatters spend watching Stories from creators in the revenue share program in the U.S. has more than doubled year-over-year.
And Snap is bringing creator content to new surfaces on the app — like Snap Map — and making it easier to be discovered across Stories and Spotlight, which now has more than 350 million monthly active users. Time spent watching Spotlight content grew over 170% year-over-year.
Snap Map will now be viewable in 3D, as the company rebuilt it to bring places, buildings and sights to life in three dimensions. Snap will also have a location-sharing mode – Live Location – that updates in the background so you can ore seamlessly stay in touch with your closest friends. This makes it easy to see each other when you’re both on the go.
Snap is introducing a new generation of Lenses powered by Generative AI. The Cosmic Lens is globally available today, helping Snapchatters turn themselves and their world into an animated sci-fi scene.
Spiegel said Snap is testing new ways to make it faster to add AR to Memories. On the Snapchat camera, the community will see their recent shots alongside Lenses in a Carousel along the bottom of the screen, so they’re on hand when inspiration strikes for a throwback Snap.
He said Snap is beginning to recommend Lenses that are relevant to the photo or video a Snapchatter has captured. Through a combination of visual understanding of what’s in the camera’s view and APIs that understand factors like the local weather forecast and time of day, Lenses are dynamically surfaced to match the moment. Over the next few months, Snapchatters will find more Lens recommendations when people or pets are in the frame.
Spiegel said that the company will soon have more types of Lenses that will be more interactive.
“Snapchatters will be able to complete puzzles, and even play games together while they’re face to face,” he said.
Since launching in February, My AI has been used by millions of Snapchat+ subscribers – who have sent nearly two million chat messages per day.
My AI is rolling out to Snapchatters around the world with several new features. Now, Snapchatters can add My AI to group chats, easily get recommendations for places on Snap Map and Lenses, and send Snaps to keep the conversation going visually.
Snap will also offer new personalization features, including the ability to create a custom Bitmoji for your My AI. Soon, Snapchat+ subscribers will have the ability to receive a generated Snap back from My AI.
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