Snap, the creators of Snapchat, is announcing a bunch of new updates to the app today. Snap is introducing massive updates for Snap Kit, as well as the company’s AR platform as it looks to grow its network beyond the Snapchat app.
Let’s talk about the AR platform first. Snapchat now has a thing called the AR bar that lets you scan the world with your camera to get more done with Snapchat — you can shop for products via Amazon, solve math problems, or get automatic GIFs and lenses for things like pizzas, cats, dogs, and all the Snapchat-y things.
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Snapchat is also introducing a new thing called Landmarks that transform five of the world’s popular landmarks in some very interesting ways. The Effile Tower being one of them, which is throwing up in rainbows as you can see above. You can also find the Landmarks at Buckingham Palace in London, the Capitol in Washington, the Flatiron Building in New York, and the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Snap is also upgrading its Lens Studio app that allows users to create lenses for Snapchat on their Windows or Mac devices. Snap’s Lens Studio now includes new templates for hands, bodies, and pets to help you get way more creative with your custom lenses.
And now, let’s talk about Snap Kit, the company’s developer kit that allows them to integrate Snapchat features into their apps. Snapchat is now introducing Bitmoji Kit, a new tool that will allow developers to integrate Snapchat’s Bitmoji stickers into their own apps on any devices. And there’s the new Creative Kit, a new tool that allows you to share content from apps like Netflix and VSCO into your own story, kind of like how you can share a Netflix show into your Instagram Story.
Last but not least, there’s the new Story Kit. With Story Kit, developers will be able to bring Snapchat Stories into their own apps. That means you will be able to share a Snapchat Story on Tinder, for example. It looks pretty cool:
This a huge update for Snapchat here, the company is playing catch-up with Instagram Stories with things like Creative Kit, but the new AR tools look very creative at the same time. Snapchat has always been ahead of Instagram in terms of the AR features, and with its community lenses getting more advanced, Instagram will have to do a lot of work before it even gets anywhere close to Snapchat’s huge collection of lenses. All these lenses are very cool, but whether that will get users to share more stories on Snapchat and actually use the app more remains to be seen.