Anyone can use Facebook’s Spark AR Studio to create augmented reality filters and effects for Instagram Stories. Augmented reality, or AR, may appear to be a far-off concept that has little use in your daily life, but did you know that 1 billion people have had a Spark AR studio for Instagram experience in the last year? That’s a lot of people getting into AR and Instagram filters. And it’s set to take off: from August 2018, anybody can make and share their own Spark AR effects for Instagram Stories! Custom Instagram Stories filters are no longer confined to the Kylie Jenners and Nikes of the world, allowing artists and companies of all sizes to create a viral Instagram moment. Keep reading to discover more about Instagram’s future and best practices for Spark AR studio for Instagram, including how AR filters can be used as a growth hack to gain more followers.
Spark AR Studio
Spark AR Studio is an augmented reality program for Mac and Windows that allows you to develop AR effects for mobile cameras in a very simple manner. Consider it similar to Photoshop or Sketch, but for augmented reality. AR (short for “augmented reality”) is not a new technology; in fact, it dates back to the 1960s! Yet, AR technology has just recently surged and extended across dozens of businesses; now, you can see it everywhere from Pokémon GO to Google Maps. Social media is certainly riding the AR wave as well, and a large part of its success can be attributed to the massive popularity of Instagram Stories. Instagram is the ideal platform for spreading AR to the public, with over 500 million daily active users, a highly user-friendly UI, and the millennial human need to post fun, filtered selfies.
Nevertheless, Facebook’s move in 2017 to develop its own tools enabling companies and designers to build custom AR effects was as significant. While the Spark AR Studio platform was available to everyone, you had to be approved into the closed beta program if you wanted your custom AR effects to be seen on Instagram. But everything has changed now! This is obviously a huge deal and an exciting chance for artists, marketers, influencers, and everyone who wishes to get creative and learn how to make their idea come to life through the use of augmented reality. AR on Instagram has enormous marketing potential (which we’ll discuss in a moment), but it’s currently massively underused. As a result, businesses could benefit greatly from getting in early, learning the ropes, and coming up with unique ways to build and share their branded AR creation on Instagram.
How Businesses Can Use Spark AR Effects on Instagram
There are several reasons why augmented reality can be an effective marketing tool for businesses, but one of the most important is the freedom of creation. When it comes to augmented reality, the world truly is your oyster! There are many applications for the technology, including cosmetics brands using AR to allow their followers to virtually “try on” makeup, furniture brands using AR to show what their products would look like in people’s homes, and fashion brands using AR to create virtual fitting rooms, allowing people to try on shirts, sunglasses, or entire outfits to see how it fits their shape and style. There’s certainly something to be claimed about AR’s emotional value.
Businesses may find it simpler to develop a personalized relationship with consumers by offering these kind of AR experiences where users can “try” products — which may also help drive more purchases! Instagram is also including this feature into the app! The platform is now beta testing a new tool that will enable marketers to apply augmented reality effects to their product pages. Users will be able to virtually “try” things before purchasing them on the app thanks to the new Spark AR integration. The functionality is currently being tested with only a few brands, like Warby Parker and Ray-Bans, but we hope it will be expanded to more brands in the near future!
Of course, your goal with AR does not always have to be sales! Companies can also benefit greatly from just offering creative and interesting AR effects that users like using. Consider, for example, Adidas. Adidas Originals decided to create a special AR effect that adds a nostalgic VHS aspect to your stories, including a “glitch” effect, in response to the popularity of vintage filters and retro-looking photos this year. This custom AR effect is very shareable and trendy, making it ideal for increasing brand exposure! Instagram once had a distinct way for locking filters (you had to follow the creator first).
As a consequence, a number of the Spark AR beta program designers received tens of thousands of followers after sharing their own filters on Instagram Stories. The process for unlocking custom AR effects has changed significantly, thanks to Instagram’s new Effects Gallery, which makes it simpler to find unique filters from the creative community! When you visit a creator’s profile, you’ll see a new effects tab above their feed that allows you to browse (and access) all of the AR effects they’ve made. Here are some more ways that businesses can use Spark AR Studio to create branded Instagram Stories experiences:
Augmented reality effects for online shopping
As effective as Instagram has been in building an Instagram shopping environment (including some of the new shopping features that launched in 2019), certain things cannot be adequately conveyed in photos or videos. Consider Kylie Cosmetics. By selecting an effect in Instagram Cosmetic Stories, you will “try” Kylie several lipsticks from a series of lip kits (such as Candy Glitz and K) to discover which hue best suits your skin tone in one of the early adopters of Instagram AR, AR Kylie. Selling something.
This is an excellent example of how businesses can leverage Instagram’s custom AR effects. Kylie’s filters are not only entertaining to use, but they also serve as discreet adware and are really handy if you want to purchase the product. Off-White is one brand that has already built a name for itself using AR. Off-White used an effect before Paris Fashion Week that allowed users to “try on” sunglasses from the collection and add other effects such as the iconic Off-White trademark phrases.
Augmented reality effects for publishers
Consider, for example, Buzzfeed Tasty. This year, the extremely successful culinary channel joined the augmented reality realm, which is being created by individuals at the time. As you select an effect, the slogan “Oh yes!” floats and rotates across the screen. What’s amazing about this effect is that it’s frequently used in a variety of scenarios. For example, if you want to share a photo or video of a meal you prepared, you’d use both and. But you don’t even have to use it in food; it’s adaptable enough to use at every occasion (and it’s one of the simplest practices).
Augmented reality effects for a cause
Rihanna created her own stunning augmented reality effect, Clara, last year. If you choose this option, a diamond headpiece will be placed to your selfie. That’s an excellent illustration of how businesses can use AR effects to improve street awareness. A green cleaning company, for example, can design an augmented reality experience for Earth Day or another eco-friendly celebration. Similarly, a fashion company like Levi’s that promotes environmental preservation can.
Using Spark AR Studio for Instagram business can help you interact with clients, increase awareness, and even go viral on Instagram! It’s a great way to build your account, whether you’ve decided to create your own AR filter for your business or include some interesting current AR effects into your stories posts. Because the future has been filtered, there is no better time than the present to join the trend.