Snap, the maker of the disappearing messaging app Snapchat, announced Monday (Nov. 19) a partner program aimed at making it easier for brands to use and pay for augmented reality (AR) lenses.
According to a report, the launch of this program to help advertisers find certified AR shops to create the digital product placements marks the first move after Snap opened up its lenses to outside developers nearly a year ago. Snap‘s lenses enable brands to superimpose content directly onto users’ faces and/or around them, resulting in branded content getting mapped into personal content, noted the report.
Snap said the Lens Creative Partners program has more than 30 certified creators, with the largest number residing in the U.S. and followed by the U.K., Canada and Australia. Snap plans to make the program available in more regions in the coming weeks, with the aim of having more than 100 creators over the course of the coming months.
“Today, we are announcing the launch of a Lens Creative Partners program specific to building AR lenses for brands. This group of certified creators spans large agencies and expert individuals who have been building engaging and immersive AR lenses for Snap,” Snap wrote in the blog post. “To be certified, creators had to be experienced in developing quality AR and complete a rigorous course about the development process, creative best practices, ad policies and buy models of sponsored AR lenses on Snapchat.” The company went on to say that by expanding its network of skilled creators, it continues to lower the barrier for brands to create and run sponsored AR.
The new certification program comes at a time when the company is gearing up to roll out more products after coming off of lackluster results for its third quarter. For the three months that ended in September, Snap said it had 186 million daily active users, which represented a 5 percent year-over-year increase. But that user base is down 1 percent from the second quarter of 2018, and that decline comes as the company is still trying to get past a backlash from the Snapchat redesign earlier this year. Snap also posted a Q3 loss of about $325.1 million, 26 percent lower than its net loss for the same period last year, and beating analyst expectations. Revenue increased 43 percent year over year, to $298 million.