Augmented reality is a type of technology that’s increasing in popularity, so much so that Facebook announced new AR video call filters for its user.

The Spark AR feature enables video call filters that could mean a big thing for retailers looking to boost traffic and drive sales on this social media platform. For creators in general, it’s a new way for them to connect with their audience.

The usage of AR filters

The AR market was worth around $3.5 billion in 2017 and will reach a whopping $198 billion in 2025. It’s clear that usage of AR filters is only increasing with the likes of Pokemon GO, Snapchat’s filters and the ones Facebook are now launching.

AR is something that many social media platforms will be using more with projects for total ad spend from AR social lenses being $2.4 billion by 2022. Many advertisers want to use AR filters because they provide a more interactive and engaging experience.

What are the new AR video call filters on Facebook and Instagram?

If you’re already a fan of Instagram Stories, then you’ll have likely come across a Spark AR effect already. Spark AR has more than 600,000 creators using their effects. On Facebook and Instagram, over two million AR effects have been published on the platforms.

AR transforms the way you see your reality, whether it changes your appearance in selfie mode or to your surroundings. It’s a new and exciting technology that’s only improving as AR gets more air time and funding for its development.

Even though Facebook owns Instagram, the AR filters vary from platform to platform. Big brands have already taken full advantage of these filters with the likes of Kylie Jenner advertising her lip products with a lip filter to show off several colours on those who used it. 

From changing eye colours to finding out what type of person you are, filters come in all different formats. They’re a great way to build your community and bring awareness to your brand if you’re a creator.

Where and how can you use the filters?

You can use these filters on Facebook and you can share them on your brand’s pages as well as offering them out to the wider market. Firstly, you’ll want to go over to your official page on the Facebook mobile app. You’ll then open up the Facebook camera by tapping on the camera icon and taking a photo with a specific filter.

When you then share your photo or video with the camera effect, your followers will also be able to use the same filter by clicking on a button at the bottom of the screen.

For personal profiles, you can share the effect with friends and family in the same way. Facebook also allows you to promote the filter on other platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr to name but a few. You can also share the filters on your website or blog site.

How to create an AR filter from scratch

Creating a customised AR filter can be useful for those brands who want something specifically tailored to their brand image or a product/service they’re promoting. You can find more information on how it all works by checking out Spark’s website but here are some quick steps to creating your very own AR filter.

  • Go to the Spark AR Hub.
  • Create a permissions group so that Spark AR can upload AR effects on your behalf.
  • Work with the relevant individuals to create your AR effect in the Spark AR Studio.
  • Once satisfied create a video with the effect being used. This will serve as your effect preview when you use Facebook Ads Manager.
  • In the Spark AR Hub, choose the effect owner and upload the effect. Select Facebook ads as the effect destination.
  • Fill in the upload form and wait for your effect to be approved.

Once it’s been approved, you can use this effect through your Facebook Ads Manager section of the platform.

What does this mean for retail brands?

Augmented commerce is something that’s likely going to change the market for many retailers who already exist online. It’s also a wake-up call for those who haven’t adapted to the times and are yet to utilize the online market.

The use of AR technology and filters on Facebook has risen, particularly since the pandemic. With so many people working from home or on furlough there were more sales and traffic driven through social media platforms. 45% of people noted that they shopped more via their smartphone as a result of the pandemic too.

Instagram AR filters for brands are set to be huge, particularly as Instagram is already making a lot of money for retail businesses on these platforms already. Some of the best AR filters feature a try-on of the product. One of the major reasons why the high street exists is because shoppers love trying things on.

AR has created a solution to this by showing the product through the filters available. So whether you’re looking at trying on sunglasses or deciding on a new box hair dye colour, it helps customers come to a decision without having to move from their sofa.

Retail brands can definitely benefit from using AR filters that are available on these platforms to help provide a more immersive and interactive experience. It’s something that will contribute to the customer’s opinion of the brand and will help them remember the brand more easily.

AR filters are also more affordable than you think, so even small brands with a tight budget, can make use of these features on Facebook and across other platforms.



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