Snapchat has introduced new World Lenses; augmented reality filters that overlay animated graphics upon the world around you.
Snapchat’s lenses have typically relied on either a selfie camera or a face to register and perform their magic; now, the addition of World Lenses brings that capability to the environment around you.
World Lenses offer users the capability to not only add filters to their face, but further graphics such as rainbow clouds, floating hearts, or snowfall to the environment around them.
To activate World Lenses, users will need to keep their rear (primary) camera active and hold down on their smartphone’s screen. Cycling through World Lenses will reveal both new environmental lenses in addition to the standard filters one might use while taking a selfie.
Some filters affect both the global world and a user’s face simultaneously and encourage a user to flip between the front and rear camera accordingly.
World Lenses are now available in the latest version of Snapchat for both iOS and Android, and will likely be a headlining feature on the social media company’s set of peripheral glasses named Spectacles which were released earlier this year.
The update is supplemented by a feature first found on Instagram Stories – the ability to tap on the left side of the screen to rewind by one snap or swipe left to start a story sequence from the beginning.
Both new features form part of Snapchat’s pushback against the burgeoning likes of Instagram Stories, which has rapidly managed to capture over 100 million users in just two months.
Considering Facebook’s interest in copying many of Snapchat’s features following its unsuccessful acquisition of the app, the social media company has its work cut out for it should it want to stay ahead.
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