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Snap Is Targeting Desktop With Its Augmented Reality Lenses

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While Snapchat seems to be losing the social media race to Instagram, it’s actually working on some innovations to stay positive in the eyes of users.

The company just introduced Snap Camera – a standalone application that presents the face filters (dog faces, devil horns, etc.) to desktop users. As reported by Engadget, this program doesn’t require a Snapchat username and password. Instead, anyone can use it whenever they’d like.

Snap Augmented Reality

It’s easy to use too. All you need to do is download the program, and it will automatically be compatible with whatever camera is hooked up to your computer. You can use the app to record yourself during meetings in Skype and Hangouts, or even when using your built-in camera app.

Augmented Reality

While you don’t need a Snapchat account to use these services, those with one will see extra benefits. For example, Snap and Twitch are working together to bring filters straight to Twitch’s platform. That way, users can download other filters created by the Snap community. Then, anyone who likes the streamers’ lenses can download them onto their mobile app by scanning the on-screen snap code. Nobody is being forced to make an account, but the app wants to encourage creation via these features.

Eitan Pilipski, Vice President of Snap’s Camera Platform, commented on the simplicity:

“[We] want to put something out there that, first and foremost, is making it as simple as possible for a new community to access Snapchat Lenses.”

Twitch is Snap’s only current partnership, but the company is looking into more. Since you can use the recording software for YouTube videos, the platform would like to partner with the video creation service for built-in support.

A User-Focused Approach

Snap launched its Lens Studio in 2017, which enables users to create their own filters. Since then, the number of lenses has expanded to over 250,000, totaling over 15 billion views on the platform. That number only counts user-made lenses as well, so Snap Camera wants to increase it even higher.

Ever since Snap went public in 2017, the company has been struggling to sustain users. This is mostly due to fierce competition from Instagram and other social media applications. In fact, during Q2 2018, the company lost over 3 million daily users, according to CEO Evan Spiegel. Yet, Snap is still making money somehow.

Moving Up In The World

We know this because Snap released its quarterly report on Thursday to showcase a record-breaking period. According to the results, the numbers rose by 43 percent to hit $298 million in profit. Interestingly, this is partly due to Snapchat’s users growing 5% in year-to-year, despite the daily active user number being down 1%, hitting 186 million. This rise may also have been due, in part, by Snap’s pushing for people to vote within the app. In fact, it received 418,000 registrations in just two weeks.

The significant drop, however, we know is primarily due to Snapchat’s redesign. Users hated the change and began to move to Instagram and other similar applications. Spiegel is aware of this, and even revealed that the company has been “developing a completely new version of our Android application.”

This redesign is mostly meant to bring back Android users, the most significant number of departures since the original change. Also, Spiegel would like to expand the average age group beyond 13-34-year-old users in mostly the United States and the United Kingdom.

Finally, Snapchat is looking to create unique content for its platform. It saw the launch of some original programs this month – all of it designed purely for platform consumption. Some of the vertical video content even includes interactive AR elements to engage users even more.

“There’s just huge demand for mobile content,” says Spiegel.

Blockchain/cryptocurrency and gaming journalist. I've been a gamer for as long as I could hold a controller. When not playing or creating gaming content I'm always out looking for a new spot to eat.

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