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Snap Reports Augmented Reality Drives User Engagement, Brand Advertising

Snapchat parent company Snap believes that augmented reality (AR) will be “one of the most meaningful advancements in computing that the world has ever seen.”

Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, said this Thursday (April 25) during the company’s quarterly earnings call. He said that Snap considers AR to be one of the company’s three strategic priorities, alongside revenue growth and community growth.

“We have never worked on anything as profound and meaningful as augmented reality,” Spiegel said during the call. “AR enables us to surface digital experiences seamlessly in the world around us, transforming the way we use computing in our daily lives.”

Snap’s AR tools are used by advertisers, creators and users of the platform.

For example, brands use the company’s AR tools to create a more exciting shopping experience that can include virtual storefronts and try-on experiences, according to an investor presentation released Thursday.

Creators use the tools to build AR experiences and drive monetization opportunities. More than 350,000 developers use Lens Studio, Snap’s free AR development platform, the presentation said.

Among the platform’s users, over 70% of the people who download Snapchat engage with AR during their first day using the app, per the presentation.

“Our AR products and services are driving major impact at scale today,” Spiegel said during the call. “On average, over 300 million people engage with augmented reality every single day on Snapchat. Our community plays with AR Lenses billions of times per day on average and our AR creator community has built millions of Lenses using our Lens Studio software.”

During the first quarter, Snap launched artificial intelligence (AI)-powered AR Lens creation to grow and deepen its engagement with its community, the company said in a Thursday earnings release.

The company also launched a new AR ad offering called Sponsored AR Filters that expands advertisers’ reach via the Snapchat Camera, the release said.

During the quarter, Snap also launched an improved AR Carousel ranking model that refreshes AR Lenses more frequently, and found that this boosted the number of AR Lenses seen by users by 50%, per the release.

“The most critical input to delivering on the strategic initiatives we laid out is innovation,” Spiegel said during the call. “That includes innovating on our products, our advertising platform and the future of augmented reality.”