Snapchat launched several updates to its popular social app this week, which generated lots of buzz and a bit of terror.
Lenses is a new feature in Snapchat that allows a user to add animated effects to their face when in selfie mode on the app. After activating the feature, Snapchat detects the user’s face and then users can tap and swipe to add overlaid animated graphics. The graphics can turn the user into a horrific monster, make them look old and even add a rainbow that comes out of their mouth.
According to TechCrunch, Snapchat acquired a startup company called Looksery to power the facial recognition animations. The technology is truly remarkable and certainly impresses, but the content definitely targets the youngest of Snapchat’s growing user base.
Most of the animations are pretty juvenile and although fun to try out once or twice, I don’t see them becoming routine for Snapchat’s millennial users. However, reports indicate that Snapcat will continue to add new animations.
In addition to the silly animations, Snapchat launched its new pay for replays model. The social app will now charge users for additional replays. Users can purchase three extra replays for $0.99, adding a new revenue stream to compliment the advertising platform.