Back in 2016 Snapchat ventured into their first Augmented Reality(AR) project called ‘Spectacles’. Unperturbed by the less than profitable returns of their first dalliance into AR, Snapchat has continued to transform its augmented approach.

Since Snapchat took off their glasses, they invested in the lenses, choosing the far more successful venture of embedding AR into the Mobile App. As a testament to Snapchats market flexibility, in 2020 an average of four billion photos were sent through Snapchat everyday.

According to Snapchat financial and statistical reports their average user spends 30 minutes on the app everyday, with 265 million users worldwide. They also boast a 2020 revenue of $2.1bn (£1.5bn) and a total asset value of $90.9 billion(£65.3bn). Considering these figures it’s obvious why Snapchat is moving ever more into e-commerce.

Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel discussed the investment into AR recently at the company’s 2021 Investor Day “Retailers are really excited about the potential for augmented reality to reduce returns in the future, which is obviously a huge benefit in terms of cost savings, but also in terms of the environment,”

Last year Snapchat displayed their pulling power in AR e-commerce with its Gucci ‘Try-on’ campaign, enabling the consumer to interact with the product. The “shop now” function also did much to improve their bottom line.

Snapchat Augmented Reality

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Now we see electoral engagement in ‘Speech to Street’ a new lens aimed at encouraging young voters to engage in politics. The new lens was born from a survey asking 1,500 people aged 16 to 25 about their most valued issues. The new lens shows how Snapchat, yet again understands what its target demographic responds to.

Back in April Snapchat also acquired the fashion recommendation app Screenshop as well as the clothing size recommendation platform Fit Analytics in March. With These two acquisitions and a self-professed stronghold on Gen Z, it looks good for Snapchat. As a growing list of successful AR lenses stack up, and an average 47 percent revenue increase year-on-year, they seem a very long way from the previous spectile.

Snapchat has well and truly entered the ecommerce market, as Evan Spiegel says “Shopping or commerce doesn’t need to be the boring experience we’ve known for the last 25 years on the web, It can be something very entertaining and engaging and that’s what social is all about.”


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