Snapchat is getting a funky new augmented reality (AR) feature today in the form of a new World Lens.
The 3D Friendmoji Deluxe World Lens builds on Snapchat’s growing push into AR by allowing you to not only transpose a 3D virtual version of yourself into the real world, but to add one of your friends, too.
Though Snapchat began as an app for sharing self-deleting ephemeral photos, it has taken on a whole new life in recent years. Parent company Snap launched its machine learning-based Lenses feature back in September 2015, providing users with a mechanism for sharing photos of themselves with special effects superimposed on their face.
The company later rolled out World Lenses so users could augment their environment with funky animations, before adding 3D Bitmoji to the World Lenses mix last year. Last month, Snap launched Bitmoji Deluxe, offering more customization options for your personal Bitmoji avatar.
With the 3D Friendmoji Deluxe World Lens, Snapchat is adding more “social” to its AR toolset — Snapchat is, after all, a social network at its core.
To add a friend to a scene, open a chat with a friend and hit the “capture” button to launch a direct-reply Snap. Then you just point your camera at the environment in front of you, choose the Friendmoji Lens from the carousel, and position your Bitmojis where you want them. You will only be able to add a friend to the scene if they have already created a Bitmoji of themselves and linked their Bitmoji account to Snapchat.
Snap procured Bitmoji as part of its $100 million acquisition of Bitstrips in 2016, and it’s fair to say it has been a success. Apple revealed in December that Bitmoji was the most-downloaded app in the U.S. App Store last year, with Snapchat taking second place.
Snap has announced a number of new products and features recently, including audience analytics for brands and celebrities, and it also opened its marketing API for all developers and revealed a tie-up with GIF library Giphy. Back in December, Snap launched its first desktop app in the form of Lens Studio, which allows anyone to create their own AR Lenses.
The new 3D Friendmojis are available within the main Snapchat app on Android and iOS from today.