Facebook and Instagram have made tremendous strides to bring AR functionality into their platforms in 2018. This years’ F8 saw the announcement of AR within Messenger – proving useful for product launches and demonstrations. We were also given advanced AR capabilities within Instagram’s camera and the ability for third party developers to easily create them.
This week, they’ve added another tool to their arsenal in the form of a news feed ad product. Users will begin seeing ads that feature a “Tap to try it on” option, which would then bring them into an AR experience. The goal is to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds and allow consumers to “try before they buy”. Of course, commerce is the end goal of these experiences, and an easy path to purchase is included post use.
Michael Kors was the first brand to test out these new ad products but look for more similar brands to jump into the testing grounds soon enough. AR, while still in its infancy has become almost a necessity for cosmetic brands and high end retailers. For Facebook, giving these companies an avenue to push their product in this format to highly qualified customers should prove to be profitable for both the advertiser as well as the tech behemoth.
As the hardware needed to invoke high end AR experiences gets into the hands of more and more users, brands will begin to see the benefits that augmented reality experiences can have on their bottom line. Consumers will come to expect the ability to visualize products in their own environments while they move along their decision journey and brands will need to get creative in how they push these experiences.
Marketers should be extremely excited about the prospect of these new ad buys and those in the clothing, accessories and cosmetics space should be pushing for this functionality within their companies. What’s even better is that with AR, there’s some economies of scale that can occur. Developing an augmented reality experience that’s invoked through a news feed ad can also be triggered within Messenger, as an Instagram/Snapchat filter as well as through their own app.
The ability to allow consumer the freedom to customize and view your products in their own world will soon lead to a paradigm shift in how commerce decisions are made. Now’s the time to ensure your brand is set up for the future.