You Can Now Create Snapchat AR Lenses With Snap's Lens Studio

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In a report from Digiday, one NYC-based ad executive stated AR lenses are now Snap's most expensive ad product, and for some agencies it's offered as a standalone purchase. "We're really excited to take this tool, and make it as simple as possible for any creator out there to have a presence on Snapchat".

If Lens Studio sounds like something you want to try your hand at, you can download the app for free here. While Lens Studio users keep the rights to their assets and design files, Snap holds the rights to the final Lens once it has been submitted.

The app includes guides, templates, and 3D modelling software.

Lens Studio allows users to create their own Snapchat Lenses, which are the machine learning-based AR features that Snap introduced more than two years ago.

Scanning a Snapcode
Scanning a SnapcodeImage snap

"We want to emphasize that this is just the beginning", says Eitan Pilipski, VP, Camera Platform team, when I pose the question.

It's a bid to make Snapchat the default place for flashy, viral AR experiences - think Dancing Hot Dog - at a time when deeper-pocketed rivals are circling. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.

By opening an AR platform, the company removes the barrier and allow brands to participate in lenses and immersive experiences.

The average Lens user spends three minutes every day trying on new selfies and exploring experiences in the world around them.

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The app features World Lenses as well, an AR filter which brings graphics into the "real world" via the camera. But in the future, they might be able to make face filters and other effects.

Once your Lens is complete, you'll be given a special Snapcode that you can share anywhere, which anyone can scan to unlock your Lens.

Lens Studio creates the first opportunity for advertisers to incorporate a Lens into a Snapchat campaign without needing to go through Snapchat's sales team.

Once users have created an effect, Lens Studio will generate a unique Snapcode and deep link which, when tapped on the phone, will open it within Snapchat for 24 hours.

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Speaking of which, one of the other benefits of Lens Studio is that creators will be able to share their World Lenses fairly easily.

Creators will be able to track the popularity of their Lenses within Lens Studio, where Snapchat will report stats, including the number of times a Lens was viewed and the number of times it was shared.

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