Did you know you could now try out your favourite pair of sunglasses or a shade of lipstick without actually buying them? And did you know you could do that with your Instagram app?
Instagram is taking its popular filters to the next level with Augmented Reality (AR). Snapchat started it, Instagram adapted it and now even YouTube has joined in. Augmented reality has become an integral part of our photo-sharing experience with Instagram and Snapchat.
It’s not just cute bunny ears or dog faces, but there’s a business case too. There are custom AR filters available that allow you to try on make-up and accessories without actually having to buy them.
The most recent example being European luxury brand Dior, that introduced special AR filters for Instagram that allow you to try on virtual versions of its DiorSoLight sunglasses or double headbands marked “Christian Dior J’Adior.”
Before this, US entrepreneur and socialite Kylie Jenner introduced special filters that allows users to try on lip shades from her famous lip-kit. Gucci Beauty introduced special filters where you can pick from different looks.
Apart from these, custom AR filters have been introduced by many influencers such as Rihanna, Maggie Ziegler and also by shows like Netflix’s Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Game of Thrones among others. Instagram also boasts of a solid AR filter collection, many of which were earlier introduced by Snapchat.
AR refers to the technology that lets some virtual imagery look like it’s part of the real world. It blurs the line of virtual and real.
AR has been extensively used in entertainment and gaming industries, but the new thing seem to be photo-sharing apps.
How Do Social Media and Augmented Reality Work Together?
Both AR and social media are now working in tandem to give users a heightened experience. But this mostly stems from the need of altering our reality.
It helps users have experiences that they don’t have to buy. They can just go to Instagram, open a filter and they are transported to a beach, a mountain or are wearing a lipstick that would otherwise burn a king-sized hole in their pockets.
If you see a filter in a friend’s story and want to try it, you can just access it from there. Just tap at the name of the filter on top and it will take you there.
The ‘instant stories’ format is an area all the tech heavy weights are venturing into, with chatter that even Twitter might soon join the bandwagon. With such tight competition, AR is the trump card that might help them differentiate themselves.
Although Snapchat pioneered AR filters its popularity has steadily decreased after Instagram introduced the feature.
Instagram has been constantly evolving with new filters and collaborations. It managed to obscure Snapchat also because it has a wider user base with a solid photo-sharing background.
What’s Next for Innovations in AR?
It is predicted that there will be 1 billion augmented reality users by 2020. AR is the future and it’s quickly making its way to the present.
Instagram is now giving an option to creators, influencers, and brands to create their own custom Instagram filters too. AR is helping millennials own and flaunt things they can’t afford. It also is a comment on the materialistic nature of our generation, but also the lack of time, money and effort to actually gain things or go for lived experiences.
It’s as if sitting in our living rooms with a beach filter on is actually better than being at the beach! AR has made everything easier, but probably at the cost of lived experiences.
Not just social media, AR is making its foray into healthcare, beauty, home improvement and essential services. It’s fun and interactive, but still let’s you be in touch with reality. AR is gonna be a game-changer and it will be interesting to see what comes next!