Snapchat adds AR functions; slate of new originals
April 5, 2019
Snap has unveiled new augmented reality (AR) and camera search experiences for creators, partners, and Snapchatters.
Snap’s Lens Studio is a free, publicly available desktop app for anyone to build and distribute Lenses on Snapchat. Lens Studio packages up Snap’s computer vision and graphics technology into simple templates for creators. More than 400,000 Lenses have been created by Snap’s community through Lens Studio, and those Lenses have been played with over 15 billion times.
Now, Snap is updating Lens Studio to include even more capabilities for Lens creation, including templates for hand tracking, body tracking, and pet tracking. For the first time, Lens Studio will include templates for Snap’s all-new Landmarker Lens experiences. These Lenses enable AR experiences that can transform the world’s most iconic landmarks in real-time.
Templates for five locations are available to creators, including: Buckingham Palace (London), United States Capitol Building (Washington, D.C.), Eiffel Tower (Paris), Flatiron Building (New York City), and the TLC Chinese Theater (Los Angeles), with more to follow. Snapchatters visiting these physical locations will also be able to experience these Landmarker-enabled Lenses.
Snap is also introducing a new, unified Lens experience on the platform and additional, robust camera search capabilities. ‘AR Bar’ and ‘Scan’ will begin rolling out soon to Snapchatters.
AR Bar is designed to make it easier than ever before for Snapchatters to discover and navigate Lenses and camera search experiences on Snapchat. With AR Bar, for the very first time, Snapchatters will be able to Create, Scan, Browse, and Explore all in one place. AR Bar will also feature a new Scan button, designed to surface contextually relevant Lenses and camera-based experiences with just a tap.
With Scan, relevant Lenses, including those created by Snap’s public community through Lens Studio, will dynamically surface for Snapchatters based on what is in the camera view.
Meanwhile, Snap has also announced its new slate of Snap Originals, the company’s mobile shows created exclusively for Snapchat’s audience. Snap’s new shows will be available globally on Snapchat’s Discover page.
New Snap Originals will begin airing May 2019 and include a range of genres including serialised scripted dramas and comedies, character-driven docuseries, unscripted social commentary, and more. Snap is partnering with some of the industry’s next and best creators to continue to define mobile storytelling. Production partners include Bunim/Murray Productions, Dakota Pictures, New Form, and Bazelevs, as well as established film and television writers and producers.
Snap’s new slate includes:
Two Sides – (New Form) – A young couple navigates a breakup in this innovative series told from both characters’ points of view at the same time. Scripted series launches May 2019.
Commanders – (Dakota Pictures) – In this comedy, two teenage outcasts discover a mysterious code within a retro computer that can alter real life. When they decide to use this newfound power to disrupt the cliché social structure, their high school will never be the same. Scripted series launches June 2019.
Untitled BuzzFeed Daily Show – (BuzzFeed) – BuzzFeed’s daily afternoon show brings viewers the latest celebrity, entertainment, and OMG moments blowing up the internet. Launches Spring 2019.
Sneakerheads – (Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts and EMJAG Productions) – A comedy that follows the misadventures of three college freshmen as they navigate the crazy, shady, mercurial world of Los Angeles sneaker culture. Scripted series launches June 2019.
While Black – (Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts and Main Event Media) – Author, filmmaker, recording artist, and educator MK Asante explores racially charged social issues through candid conversations. Unscripted social commentary launches Summer 2019.
Can’t Talk Now – (New Form) – A teen soap that takes place inside the phones of a group of high school freshman BFFs as juicy drama unfolds across group texts, video chats, and social media. Scripted series launches Summer 2019.
Compton Dreams – (October Films) – Follow the highs and lows of three up-and-coming artists from Compton as they strive to become the next big name in hip-hop. Docuseries launches Summer 2019.
Denton’s Death Date – (Insurrection Media) – This comedy, set in a world where everyone knows the exact day they are going to die, centers on Denton Little, a high school junior whose death date is only a week away. Denton finally starts living his life to the fullest when a series of strange events unfold that may be the key to avoiding his fate. Based on the novel by Lance Rubin. Scripted series launches September 2019.
Stranded with Sam and Colby – (Bunim/Murray Productions) – A pair of influencers film from a haunted location and what starts as something fun quickly takes a terrifying turn. Docuseries launches Fall 2019.
Dead of Night – (Bazelevs in association with Hooked) – Armed with only her phone, a teenage girl must escape a quarantined city full of zombies. Shot in ScreenLife, exclusively from the point of view of the smartphone screen. Based on a Hooked story. Produced by Bazelevs in association with Hooked. Scripted series launches October 2019.
In addition, Snap announced it will be renewing the following serialised Snap Originals: Endless Summer by Bunim/Murray Productions, Deep Creek by Woodman Park Productions, an All3Media America company, and The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts, Insurrection Media, and Keshet.
Snap launched Discover in January 2015 as a place for Snapchatters to explore premium content from an editorial perspective. Rooted in the creativity of its community and facilitated by the unique power of the Snapchat camera, Discover pioneered the first Story format and vertical video content orientation now being adopted by other platforms. Today, Discover features mobile magazines (called Publisher Stories), and Shows from hundreds of creative partners around the world.
Snap unveiled its first slate of serialized Snap Originals in October 2018. Season one of Endless Summer was watched by over 28 million unique viewers, and over 40% of the users that completed the first episode of The Dead Girls Detective Agency went on to watch the entire first season.