Bigger, better and smarter AR filters and effects are coming!

Facebook recently unveiled a new Spark AR feature that enables AR video call filters, opening up several possibilities in AR mode.

Read more about the announcement and the exciting ways content producers can virtually connect with their audience.

What are the AR effects on Instagram and Facebook?

If you’ve spent time scrolling through Instagram stories, you’ve probably encountered Spark AR effects.

Spark AR is the world’s largest mobile AR platform, over 600,000 creators from 190 countries posted over 2 million AR effects on Facebook and Instagram.

If you’ve ever participated in the “what cartoon character are you” filter or posted a selfie where your eyes change color on Instagram, you’ve used Spark AR.

They’ve taken over the Instagram stories – and for good reason. They are a fun, easy and creative way to build community and raise awareness of your brand.

Take, for example, Later’s LaterCon AR filters.

LaterCon AR filter

The subsequent AR filter was an easy way to build community for the guests attending the virtual event while also increasing the visibility of our brand.

AR effects are coming into video calling

AR filters seek to increase community and connection Instagram and Facebook video calls.

Reported F8 Update, a new feature “allows content providers to build effects that provide a coordinated experience for multiple call participants”.

AR filters for video calls

Source: Facebook

With last year’s accelerated digital events, the new feature is designed to help content producers coordinate shared experiences with their audiences through effects that use a variety of objects, segmentation, and sounds.

During last year The Facebook team has I have explored and invested in new ways AR can “help people feel a stronger sense of presence and togetherness when they are otherwise physically separated”.

And this year’s most exciting development for the F8 in AR mode is the introduction of dynamic and engaging AR filters via video calling.

But what does this mean for brands?

As Facebook opens its doors to create a new beta community of AR creators and designers, Instagram and Facebook will soon see a new experiment in AR effects and filters.

Some mega brands like On summer Fridays and Rayban have already switched to the use of AR filters in brand awareness and discovery.

AR filter summer Friday Rayban

Ecommerce-centric AR filters are just getting started, with makeup brands like Advantage and Mac cosmetics creating filters where people can practice their products and get as close as possible to the product’s IRL experience in virtual space.

BEnefit AR filters

For video calling, AR filters allow brands to bring a creative, visual experience to their community a to live regulation.

It can be a one-to-many format Instagram Live or smaller, more intimate Facebook rooms where the host invites guests to join.

And Facebook refers to this latest announcement as “Fundamental Change”.

“It’s a change that helps move AR from a single user, from a single-monitor experience to a multi-user, multi-monitor experience – and ultimately open up incredible new uses for group AR effects.”

According to Facebook, these new features are currently only available in Messenger. Through integration Multipeer API, these AR effects will soon be available for video calls on Instagram and Portal.

How content producers can be involved

Facebook is working to build a global community of AR creators, which is why they’re opening the beta to anyone participating.

“As part of the beta, you’ll have access to new tools and features to help you build and publish AR effects for video calling. In addition, we provide templates, documentation, tutorials, coaching, and more.”

Follow this link apply to participate in the next wave of beta testers that will bring AR specifically to live video calls.

And if create your own AR filters is out of scope, that’s okay. Thanks to the new features, it means there will soon be many new and fun effects.

While it only uses them in your Instagram stories, AR effects have the ability to change the way people and businesses communicate through a virtually coordinated space.

It looks like this is just the beginning of the AR effects on Instagram and Facebook – so be sure to watch this space.

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Written by

Jessica Worb

Jessica is a creative problem solver and content writer. Jessica is originally from Winnipeg, downtown, but currently lives and works remotely in Paris, France. Follow along @jessicaworb.

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