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Why Snapchat offers its AR try-on shopping tools

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Snapchat wants the AR trial to be a standard shopping tool so shoppers can wave their phones and try on the latest Puma hoodie.

The tech company is opening up access to its AR technology, along with expanding AR trials, in a bid to deepen its relationship with brands and retailers as social media platforms pivot to metaverse businesses.

New tools will make it easier for brands to create three-dimensional, photorealistic versions of products, and for consumers to more easily try those products. For the first time, brands can integrate these AR testing tools into their own apps, meaning they don’t have to develop or acquire this technology independently. Puma and Ralph Lauren are the first testers. Snapchat users will also be able to more easily discover products to try on digitally, through Snap’s new “Dress Up” section, which creates a specific destination for this type of content for the first time.

By allowing other apps and developers to use Snapchat’s technology outside of the Snapchat app for free, Snap hopes the adoption and development of augmented reality will grow. Although relatively common, there is “unrealized potential”; only 3% of American adults regularly use AR when shopping, while 39% of respondents want to use it, according to a report published this month by Insider Intelligence. “We want to enable use cases where the context would change the type of experience from what you would create for Snapchat,” says Carolina Arguelles Navas, head of global AR product strategy and product marketing at Snap.

AR has long been a focus for Snap, which said at its annual summit on Thursday that since January last year, more than 250 million people have used its AR shopping lenses over 5 billion time. Increasingly, the company is leaning towards its identity as a camera company, rather than a social media or advertising company, as it sees a greater opportunity to provide infrastructure based on the camera and augmented reality to brands and creators as extended reality and the metaverse proliferate. . Many of these new updates make that goal more obvious, Navas says. “We want to be a business-to-business technology solution because of the value we can give to brands,” she says. “We believe AR is the future, and to make that happen, we want more partners, businesses, and people to embrace AR and think about how it helps solve new problems than we don’t. let’s not solve it alone.”