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Design | User Experience | 8th April 2019

AR for Facebook and Instagram

We recently worked on some AR filters for Facebook. Why? Because it looked fun and they're rapidly becoming a powerful tool in a brand's marketing arsenal.

AR filters on Facebook and Instagram are currently very popular, especially on Instagram stories. There are over 500 million people using Instagram stories every day (stat from Jan’ 19 via Statista) with a third of most viewed stories being created by businesses - which is great news for everyone producing AR filters.

Brands are using AR filters as fun ways to market their products and we wanted to get involved to see how we could create AR filters for our partners.

What is an AR filter?

To keep it simple, an AR (augmented reality) filter is an image that is superimposed via your phone's camera, onto the real world image it sees.

For example:


This is Nicole and I, I'm not weaing sunglasses, it isn't snowing four leaf clovers and Nicole hasn't got her face tattooed (or has she?).

What's happening here is that the images you see are superimposed on our faces and using some clever tracking technology keeps them there, even as we move our heads.

How are brands using filters?

AR filters are not limited to just face filters. Big brands like Ikea are using AR so customers can see what their products would look like in real homes.

Last year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram would be launching new filters with Kylie Jenner, Ariana Grande, the NBA and more. Using Instagram, users will be able to try Kylie Cosmetics lipstick shades using an AR filter from their phones, as an AR try before you buy. To see celebrity AR filters, you'll need to follow their accounts. You can then try them out and share videos and photos in your own story.

It's situations like the above that inspired us to create our own AR filters and have some fun, whilst creating something that could benefit our partners and their marketing efforts.

How did we create our AR filters?

Using Spark AR Studio we designed two filters. One was to celebrate St.Patricks Day and the other was of a well known rapper, because who doesn't want to see what they look like with face tattoos?

In order to create the AR filters, we had to first come up with the ideas and then we began to design the looks outside of Spark AR, in Illustrator and then imported into Spark AR so we could create the magic and turn them into functioning filters.

What next?

We had a lot of fun creating the AR filters and we will certainly be creating more. If you're interested in partnering with us to create one for your own brand, then feel free to get in touch.

Written by
Jeremy King
Jeremy is a Director at New Socks Media.

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