Lens Fest Day 1 Roundup

Today, Snap AR kicked off our fifth annual Lens Fest AR developer conference with a day of virtual and in-person events designed to educate, inspire, and celebrate our global community of creators and developers. Attendees learned best practices for building and monetizing AR experiences directly from Snap leaders, industry experts, brand professionals, and their peers in the Snap AR ecosystem. Participants also got a sneak peek at new monetization opportunities for AR Lenses on Snapchat, a look back at some of the top Snap AR-powered experiences, and exciting new product updates across Lens Studio, Camera Kit, and more.

We’re delighted by the continued innovation amongst our AR developer community — together, we’ve created new ways for people to interact with the world around them and to help shape the future of gaming, fashion, fitness, education, and beyond. Our global community of more than 300,000 Lens Developers has now built more than 3 million Lenses for Snapchat and their own mobile apps. On Snapchat alone, more than 250 million Snapchatters interact with AR experiences on average every day, resulting in more than 6 billion AR Lens plays each day. 

It's incredible to see how our community pushes the utility of AR on Snapchat and in their own applications — it's one of the many reasons why Snap continues to invest in the future of AR.

Continue reading for the key takeaways from Lens Fest day one.

New Ways to Monetize Your Lenses on Snapchat

We’re continually exploring how we can support AR creators, developers and teams as they grow their careers and build businesses on the Snap AR platform. Today, we announced Lenses with digital goods, a new capability that enables developers to build Lenses with premium AR items or extra tools that Snapchatters can unlock with Snap Tokens.

We’re currently working with a small group of developers to bring In-Lens Digital Goods into their Lenses on Snapchat. Phil Walton is dressing up the famed Potato Lens with an array of accessories. Now, Snapchatters can redeem Tokens to unlock new looks and features right in the Lens. JEVELS lets you create your own signature style with customizable beaded earrings — write your name or a custom message to friends. The Booth by Bryant Lens offers a premium mode, letting Snapchatters customize colors, grain, brightness, contrast, and more.

Lenses with digital goods will be available in the Lens Carousel and Lens Explorer in certain locations in the coming weeks. This innovation is opening up new ways for Snap AR developers to earn money building compelling Lenses. We’re excited to discover the long-term potential of digital goods alongside you. If you’re interested in the In-Lens Digital Goods pilot you can apply to participate today.

Compete for $200k at Lensathon

Snap AR’s global Lensathon has officially begun! Now through January 31, we’re challenging developers from all over the world to leverage Lens Studio’s most advanced capabilities to build revolutionary Lenses that reimagine how we experience the world with augmented reality. 30 winners will take home a combined $200,000 in prizes. Register for Lensathon today!

Preparing for the Future of AR

Mike Boland, Chief Analyst of ARtillery Intelligence and Editor in Chief at AR Insider, shared his research and insights on the impact, usage, and use cases for AR today and tomorrow.

With over 836 million global AR users last year, and a projection of this audience growing to 1.7 billion by 2026, Boland discussed AR’s lifecycle and laid out how developers and brands can prepare for the future of computing in his 10 minute session.

Building Your Brand Strategy With AR

Xan Oser, Snapchat’s Head of AR Developer Partnerships, sat down with business owners and marketers to discuss how AR is evolving how they engage their customers. RTFKT founder Chris Le, Immersive AR Director Andre Elijah, and ALO Yoga Head of Marketing Angelic Vendette shared how AR is impacting the way customers interact with their favorite brands and companies today. Learn what it takes to build branded experiences with external partners in this 30 minute session.

What’s New in Lens Studio

Snap AR has officially launched several exciting new Lens Studio features including Lens Cloud - Remote Assets. New Cloud Services means you can store up to 25MB of content (10MB per asset) in the cloud and remotely fetch and load assets into your Lens at run time, for more complex, interactive experiences. Learn more about the newest features and improvements to Lens Studio in this 10 minute session.

Camera Kit Updates

We’re excited to announce that Camera Kit — Snap AR’s SDK — will soon be available for web-based experiences. Our first customer, Microsoft Flip, is already using Camera Kit to bring their favorite Lenses to their global community of educators and students using Flip.com. 

Snap leaders also provided an overview of Camera Kit and shared some of the latest features and capabilities supported in Camera Kit that will unlock a variety of new use cases.

Learning From Our Community

With so much talent on display, we had to put the spotlight on our community with Behind the Lens sessions showcasing how they’re building AR experiences for fashion, play, fitness, and education. Leading AR developers also joined us for panel discussions to share how they built their portfolio and established meaningful connections with clients.

Don’t Miss a Second of the Action

For a complete rundown of all of today’s sessions, check out our Lens Fest on demand library.

We can’t wait to see you tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. PST for day two of Lens Fest. Join us for the Lens Fest Awards, virtual networking, and live interactive technical labs where you can ask Snap leaders questions about Snap AR products and programs. We look forward to seeing you there!