The Perception-Shifting Advent of Social AR
Social AR refers to the augmented reality filter effects that we can access on our social channels, including Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. It was first introduced by Snapchat in 2015 when it acquired the selfie animation startup Looksery. Since then, Social AR has evolved from rainbows flowing out of our mouths, to effects that allow us to experience alternate identities and realities through the lens of our cellphones.
These highly accessible AR filters provide brands with a powerful new way of connecting their communities. Users can step into the carefully curated digital reality through AR filters, giving them an opportunity to not only engage with the brand but own part of them. Within a few seconds of immersing ourselves in the augmented reality, we see ourselves through the lens of the brand identity with which we are engaging. It’s an immersive experience you simply won’t get from a retweet or a like.
The feeling of being a part of something — even if it is fleeting — leaves us with a meaningful experience in a world that is barraging us with information and content.
As facial recognition and eye tracking technology become more accurate, seamless, and widespread, AR filters are increasingly a way for us to construct an image of how we want to be perceived in the digital world. It enables a new type of “self-portrait” — a creative expression that communicates all that we want people to know about us as unique individuals.
Social AR filters are just the beginning of the wide applications of the AR technology.
Social media provides an easy getaway for users to experience AR on its platform, but these experiences only stay on these platforms. The day when we figure out how to integrate AR smoothly into aspects of our everyday lives, our world and our entire experiences with the web will be fundamentally changed.
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