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How Augmented Reality Can Boost Social Media Videos

Two cute little sisters playing outdoor mobile game on their smart phones
Two cute little sisters playing outdoor mobile game on their smart phones. Kids catching virtual pocket monsters. Modern addictive multiplayer location-based games.

Augmented Reality has done so much to improve the lives of people. In this day and age, AR is making a huge impact on how people are communicating on social communities online. But what is it and what is its role in social media videos? How will it affect brand marketing and user experience?

What are AR filters and lenses and how do they work?

Augmented reality is a technology that uses digital elements to enhance real photos or videos. The effects are computer-generated and are either added as a layer to the background or foreground of an image or footage.

AR is often confused with Virtual Reality (VR). Although they have similarities, they are two different things. While AR adds digital elements and effects, virtual reality is a simulation of real life. This means that every single element in a VR is imagined and created from scratch.

To set things straight, AR filters and AR lenses are the same and are interchangeable. It’s just that social media platforms give it an exclusive term to help them stand out. The term “lenses” are often used for effects that show up while taking a photo or video and “filters” are those visual effects you add after taking a photo or video.

So, what really happens behind the screen? While it looks simple and quick enough for an effect to appear on your face, there really is a lot going on to get the filter to identify your face and its features. An object detection framework called Viola-Jones is used to identify the dark and light pixel areas of your facial features then matches it with the model they used in the filter. This is for still effects, such as a mustache, a pair of glasses, cat ears, and more.

How about filters that move, like a dog tongue coming out of your mouth or eye color that changes when you blink your eyes? With interactive effects, a system called Active Shape Model (ASM) is used. This specifically looks for borders in your facial features that closely match its model. The placement will not be 100% but a 3D mask can be used to adapt to your face in a more detailed way.

Popular social media AR lenses and filters

1. Snapchat

This social media platform is probably the one that focuses on AR lenses and filters the most. Some of its most popular lenses include:

  • Dog with Tongue Hanging Out
  • Classic Flower Crown and Glow
  • Puking Rainbow
  • Rosy Cheeks Retouch
  • Dancing Hotdog
  • Face Swap
  • Extreme Sad Face
  • Golden Butterfly Crown

2. TikTok

The popularity of TikTok is undeniable and so are its AR effects and filters. Some effects that created viral challenges include:

  • Green screen effect
  • Inverted filter effect
  • Expressify
  • Time warp scan

3. Instagram

Instagram has preset filters to make your photos more creative and interesting. As for stories, they offer quite a unique list of AR effects, such as:

  • Guess the gibberish
  • What Pokémon are you
  • Which Disney character are you
  • Neon II Instagram filter

The role of AR in video marketing

Augmented reality is more than just a fun and entertaining technology for social media networks. It’s also a highly effective way to boost sales and marketing strategies. A lot of brands have taken over social media to promote their business and raise brand awareness.

AR-based marketing campaigns

There’s virtual try-on technology where consumers can try and test out products, like makeup and eyeglasses, to check out how it would look on them. Some companies create virtual tours so users can experience what it’s like to visit their locations. There are also AR-based campaigns where brands incorporate their products in AR lenses for customers to use and post.

What are the benefits of AR in marketing?

  • AR campaigns provide a unique hands-on or in-person experience for interested consumers right from the comforts of their homes or offices
  • AR-based marketing can help influence the decision of a consumer to purchase a product or avail of a service
  • The use of AR in user manuals and product demos can help make it easier to understand and remember

Trending hashtags and challenges

Incorporating hashtags and challenges in AR-based campaigns can also benefit brands. Hashtags are a great way to introduce your brand and make people remember it. It also helps widen customer reach since anyone on social media, no matter what part of the globe they’re from, would be able to learn about your brand and what your business has to offer. 

It’s necessary for brands to build their presence on social media is because it provides free marketing views and promotions. While advertising is traditionally costly, social media provides a platform for cheaper, if not free, marketing.

How to edit videos for AR marketing campaigns

When you are ready to fully embrace the possibilities that AR has to offer, then it’s time to create and edit videos for AR-based marketing campaigns. Make sure that you use the right equipment in shooting AR-videos. A 360° video camera is ideal for virtual tours.

Creating your very own AR lens? There are apps that can help you do that. Snapchat Lens Studio lets users create their own effects and share them through its platform for other users to enjoy. You may also seek the help of a professional if you need something more refined and exclusive. If you are adding AR effects to existing videos, you can use an online video editor to add special effects, transitions, and other digital elements.

Get started with AR

Augmented reality is more than just an impressive technology for novelty. It has come to a point where it’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to sales and marketing. With the help of AR, businesses can boost social media videos to a level that upgrades user experience, enhances brand awareness, and increases sales and profitability.