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The Future of AR: What It Means For Brands & Influencers

By October 11, 2018 No Comments

Part 2 in our 2018 Influencer Marketing Quarterly Trend Report

In 2018, there will be one billion AR apps on smartphones, and one billion users will create AR content at least once. The ability to digitize the world around us creates a whole new dimension for brands to create engaging experiences for consumers, wherever they may be. Soon enough, it’s likely that we will see influencers begin to hold VR and AR events in which they virtually interact with followers in an authentic and real way.

1. Facebook

In direct response to Snapchat’s latest AR capes, Facebook’s AR Studio allows developers (or any Creator, really – its “drag and drop” usability requires no knowledge of code) to create face filters and effects for their Instagram followers, which users can also discover and try out from their friends’ Stories, allowing filters to have the potential for virality in ways that Snapchat can’t support (yet). It also includes a tracking system that enables developers to seamlessly design to users’ real-world contexts. Who needs FB ads when a filter can unlock an immersive virtual billboard of branded experiences? Facebook rounded out its AR updates with AR effects for Messenger, enabling brands to share virtual experiences for consumers to try on/out in real-time before buying.

2. Snapchat

Since the release of its programmatic AR ads, Snapchat has made significant investments in the AR space. In fact, since the launch of Snapchat’s programmatic AR ads last November, more than 100 brands have run AR ads on the platform. It’s likely that the rising interest is being driven by the lower cost of AR ads compared to Snapchat lenses, with Snap ads and AR ads both available at $3 to $8 CPM programmatically. According to Snapchat, more than 70 million of its users “play with Lenses in the Snapchat camera every day,” with an average of three minutes of playtime each day while sharing 250 million Snaps with some form of AR involved.

Make It Work

Work with influencers to sprinkle AR experiences into existing touchpoints – AR Studios on Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are refreshingly easy-to-use in their abilities to arm marketers with rich AR features that connect directly to consumers’ real-world experiences. Marketers have the opportunity to incorporate these effects into their content strategies by co-creating branded filters and effects with influencers to maximize discoverability and adoption; leveraging contextual tracking features that encourage consumers to bring 3D objects and branded content to life in-feed; and connecting audiences across apps (with the help of Facebook’s new branded story templates) that make it easy for influencers to share to Stories directly. Work with influencers to develop new touchpoints – Brands have the opportunity to work with influencers from a content creation standpoint to develop new touchpoints (i.e., interactive product reviews) to ensure influence is augmented along this new customer journey.

What’s To Come?

As AR continues to be successful in blurring the lines between an imagined world and reality, look for more social media platforms to embrace AR features and functionalities. In addition, with the widespread popularity of these features, it’s likely that social platforms will continue to try to monetize their capabilities. Although, so far, Snapchat is the only platform to do so with AR Studio.

Download our latest 2018 Influencer Marketing Quarterly Trend Report to learn about some of the key social media updates and trends affecting the influencer marketing sphere.