Snapchat upgraded its Lenses artificial reality (AR) feature so that users can now add 3D objects to their images and videos.
The news came just a day before Facebook announced its own AR features at its F8 developer conference, with CEO Mark Zuckerbeg trumpeting the camera as the first mainstream AR platform.
The original Lenses enabled users to add filters including dog ears and flower halos to selfies, a feature which proved immensely popular. Now users can overlay 3D objects like rainbows and rain clouds using their rear-facing camera.
“We launched Lenses over a year ago as a whole new way to express ourselves on Snapchat. Today, we’re adding new ways to use Lenses,” the firm said.
Snapchat could potentially generate revenue through the feature via sponsorship – something it already does with the original service. Some brands have paid around $750,000 a day to sponsor the existing Lenses, the The Wall Street Journal said.
As a result Snapchat’s upgrade could complement Snap to Store, a tool Snap launched in the US last week, which collects data to inform advertisers of the progress of their campaigns.
The app maker made little mention of the commercial potential of its Lenses service in a company blog announcing the upgrades, instead explaining the changes mean users can “paint the world around you with new 3D experiences,” by tapping the camera screen while taking a picture.