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AR Tools Are Changing Digital Marketing, Creating a “Metaverse”

AR Tools Are Changing Digital Marketing, Creating a “Metaverse”
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There is no longer any need to just pull out the measuring tape and visualize how the wardrobe will fit into the corner of your bedroom. Alternatively, many online retailers have added augmented reality (AR) tools to their website – allowing users to hold their phone in an empty space on the wall and “place” their dresser, bookshelf or bar cart in that space before making purchase decision.

But AR has not been added to online shopping sites. To revolutionize how creators around the world explore, design and operate, social media platforms are developing their own augmented reality experiences. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and most recently, TikTok.

One social media site even has plans for a “metaverse” that would allow people to socialize, work and play together.

lens studio

More than 5 billion “Snaps” are created every day, making Snapchat’s camera one of the most used, according to Business Wire.

With the tagline “Dream it. Build it”, Snap AR’s Lens Studio features over 200,000 lens creators, developers and partners, 2 million lenses, and over 2 trillion lens views from the creator community.

In May, Snapchat announced new AR tools and camera experiences, including shopping recommendations when scanning a friend’s outfit using Screenshop, recipe recommendations based on ingredients scanned through the Snapchat camera, and even a partnership with the LEGO Group that allows friends to work together to build with LEGO bricks.

Medium_Allrecipes-Scan.jpg - 5 minutes ago
Snapchat Recipe Tool AR
Snapchat courtesy

With new tools that detect body movement, users can try on clothes, eyeglasses, wallets and more and literally say, “Show me a full-length jumpsuit” to display the item on a Snapchat user’s body. Large-scale luxury retailers such as Prada are already taking advantage of this tool that allows users to purchase products directly on the platform.

Snapchat’s global product leader at AR Carolina Arguelles says the fashion industry is critical to the platform’s AR strategy: “We’re on the edge where adoption from users really exists because you have a powerful camera in the palm of your hand, and you’re using it to the point where it allows us to tackle shopping, with developments in this technology.


Facebook (or Meta) and Instagram AR studio, coined by “Spark AR,” not only include tools for creating your own AR project — such as importing sounds and images — but also tutorials, project examples, and a “Spark AR curriculum.”

This curriculum aims to help users expand their skills and learn how to create AR effects. The platform encourages people to become “Spark AR creators,” and it includes video courses with step-by-step instructions on how to create and share AR effects on both platforms.

Medium_SparkAR_F8_Image7.jpg - In a few seconds
Facebook AR video calling tool
courtesy facebook

With easy-to-use tools, Facebook wants its AR Studio to be the easiest to reach a content creator. Users don’t have to know how to write code to easily drag and drop custom animations into their curated scene, Facebook has even partnered with Sketchfab to develop a gallery of downloadable templates to apply to specific projects.

Facebook Metaverse

In July, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans for a “metaverse,” which will allow users to play, work, shop and socialize using augmented reality. The term Metaverse, coined in the 1992 science fiction novel snow crash, refers to the combination of physical, virtual, and augmented reality in a single online space.

In a recent blog post, the company indicated that it needs highly specialized engineers to make the metaverse a reality in the next five years. On October 18, Facebook announced plans to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union to further develop the metaverse.

The blog post reads, “At its core is the idea that by creating a greater sense of ‘virtual presence’, online interaction can become much closer to the experience of in-person interaction.” “metaverse has the potential to help unlock access to new creative, social and economic opportunities.”

Not a single company will operate the metaverse, according to Facebook; Rather, it would be an “Internet embodied” and operated by many people to maintain its “openness and interoperability”. On October 28, Facebook announced that it had officially changed its company name to Meta “to reflect the company’s growing ambitions outside of social media.”

studio effect

In August, TikTok announced its own plans to develop an AR platform. Currently in private beta testing, TikTok Effect Studio will allow app users to use AR effects in short videos for the platform.

TikTok has created a new website called “Effect House” to allow interested developers to sign up for early access. However, it seems that this ability will not be granted to everyone. In the online form, users are asked to fill in their name, email, TikTok account information, level of augmented reality building experience, whether they will be using Effect House for business or personal use, and even examples of their work.

There is currently very little information surrounding plans to add AR elements on TikTok and the company has rated Effect Studio as an early experiment that may never work.

With TikTok roots in choreographed music and choreography, Effect Studio will likely focus on integrating music and AR.

How to use augmented reality tools for marketing

Remember how popular pokemon go Was it in 2016? This is proof that it is possible to make the world our playground using augmented reality and that there are many ways brands can use augmented reality social media tools to increase sales and gain recognition.

For clothing brands, these tools allow users to “try on” clothes. For those who still prefer to shop in traditional stores to see the suitability of clothes before buying, this is a nice way.

Any type of business can also use branded Snapchat filters that promote businesses in a fun and accessible way. For example, Taco Bell designed a Snapchat filter that turned users’ faces into tacos — complete with their logo.

Medium_Screen-Shot-2016-05-12-at-11.34.49-AM.jpg - in a few seconds
A Snapchat filter created by Taco Bell has been shared on Twitter
compliment belle

Instead of static advertising, augmented reality tools allow companies to bring ads to life, like this billboard for rapper Bhad Bhabi to promote their offering. When passers-by scan a Snapcode, they gain access to an experience that makes it sound like the rapper is actually talking to them.

Augmented reality is everywhere, from Amazon shopping feature to Patron Tequila virtual tour, and it will continue to reshape social networks, how we communicate and interact, company branding and advertising.

Image Credit: Snapchat

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