Snap Lays the Groundwork for a Shared Augmented Reality

From the start, Snap has proven its ability to innovate in terms of bringing augmented effects into the mainstream. From branded frames to face filters to world changing effects, Evan Spiegel has empowered his user base to create and share content like never before. Today, that mission is taken a step further, by physically bringing users together in somewhat of an alternate reality.

Snap announced it as an Augmented Reality art platform, and initially will feature various forms of pop art from renowned artist Jeff Koons –pinned to various locations around the world.

Once a user navigates to one of the various locations, they open up Snapchat and can then view the works of art. What makes this different than previous Snap effects, is that instead of sharing your creation with one or a group of people, Snap itself is enabling the sharing of content with anyone who uses the app. Essentially creating the building blocks of a shared synthetic reality.

At F8 this year, Facebook announced similar functionality, but has yet to roll out the feature. Now that Snap beat them to the punch, watch for Instagram to once again release a copycat product in the near future.

Implications

The Pokemon GO phenomena last year showed us that AR could have a profound effect on how we as consumers act in the physical world. When a rare Pokemon popped up, hundreds if not thousands of people flocked to catch it. Keep your eye on these Snap art locations over the next couple of weeks. It’s almost a guarantee that there will be an increase in traffic, as users are curious about the digitally overlaid artwork.

The ethos around Snap has always revolved around an aspect of art and culture that has really resonated with Gen Z and Millennials. Brands that have realized this and taken steps to integrate into the platform, have been able to reach this cohort at a time and place that feels natural to them.

As an event marketer or brand builder for physical retail, getting people to go somewhere is half the battle. The fact that Snap is taking applications for new artists should be encouraging enough to think they may allow for location requests as well. What will potentially be another revenue source for Snap, may very well be the idea that increase traffic ten-fold to your next store or event.

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