Snap Launches New Tools to Entice More Brands to Invest in AR Experiences 

Snap is rolling out a batch of new advertising and marketing tools for beauty brands to help them connect more with key audiences on Snapchat.

At the 2023 Beauty Summit in New York, Snap revealed that it will soon launch non-live beauty Lenses, Bitmoji’s Beauty Drops feature, and an advertising tool called “Total Takeover.” Snap also revealed its upcoming “Beauty Bestie” AR experience in partnership with NYX.

Changing How People Interact with Beauty Products

Resh Sidhu, global director of creative studio at Snap Arcadia, said at a conference that Snap believes AR has the potential to “revolutionize” the way people interact with the world, with each other and with the brands they love. Snap is looking to work more on AR with brands that “really understand technology and innovation,” Sidhu said.

For years, Snap has been working with companies like Maybelline and L ‘Oreal to develop real-time AR filters that let Snapchat users “try out” beauty products like foundation and mascara. In addition to filters (which Snapchat calls Lenses), Snapchat offers live beauty shows with creators, and Snapchatters can ask messaging bot “My AI” for insights on makeup, skincare, and hair.

Post-capture lense

Until now, Snapchat’s AR Lenses allow users to test out looks and effects in real time. (Remember “dog ears” or “vomiting rainbows?”) Now, Snap has added “Post-capture lense” that allow users to add special effects to photos they’ve already taken with the camera.

These experiences, when used by beauty brands, are “another way to have more than just a static image,” Michele Nevitt, Snap’s head of CPG, health and beauty, told Modern Retail. “Brands can create custom creative that they’ll be able to add on.” In many cases, this will mean stickers or animated graphics, she explained. Snapchatters can then save these images or send them to friends.

Bitmoji’s ‘Beauty Drops’

In 2014, comic creation app Bitstrips launched Bitmoji, a sticker app that allows users to make cartoon avatars. After acquiring Bitstrips for $100 million in 2016, Snapchat incorporated the feature into its own app, allowing users to send Bitmoji stickers in their messages or attach them to Snap messages.

While Bitmoji users can change fashions, they can’t yet try out brand makeup. That’s about to change with a feature called “Beauty Drops.” Snapchat’s Beauty Drops, similar to real-world drops, virtually publishes limited-time products such as lipstick, blush, or eyeshadow. Snapchat users can spot the Drop, save it to their closet, and apply it to their avatar. The makeup can then be seen anywhere a user’s Bitmoji is present, from chats to Snap maps.

Snap is teaming up with e.l.f. Beauty to launch Drop, which will be available in the coming months.

Enhanced ‘My AI’ ad targeting  

In February, Snap released a chatbot called “My AI,” which can be used within the Snapchat app. According to the company, more than 150 million people have sent more than 10 billion messages to My AI. To date, more than 23 million conversations have revolved around beauty, with users asking questions such as: ‘What colour should I dye my hair?’ and ‘How do I remove nail polish?’

Today, Snap is starting to test ways to share AI keywords with brands for targeted marketing. Currently, Snap provides advertisers with insights into the Snapchat lifestyle category, which is the main category that reflects what Snapchat users are watching. Snap can now fold keywords from My AI interactions, such as hair care and skincare, into these SLCS. Snap says this will “improve the relevance of ads that Snapchat users see on the app.”

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