Snap Lens Fest: the Data Dive


Snap continues to lead the way in consumer AR. It’s doubling down as its revenue-guided feedback loop attributes AR as fuel for its ad-business growth. The latest evidence was paraded out at Lens Fest, Snap’s annual event to spotlight the latest in Lens Studio.

Among other things, Snap now has more licensed music in its Sounds library, so lenses can have greater dimension and sound. It also extended its World Mesh AR immersion (e.g., realistic physics, occlusion) to low-end phones. In all cases, the theme is greater immersion.

But beyond these and other platform updates, Snap unveiled new figures, They include lens & creator volume as well as usage stats. As data hounds, naturally our ears perked, so we’re spotlighting the new numbers and their strateigic implications for this week’s Data Dive.

Highlight Reel

So what new figures did Snap release? Here’s the highlight reel:

– Beyond (but including) AR lenses, there are 306 million daily active Snapchatters globally, creating an average of 5 billion snaps daily.

– More than 200 million of those engage in some way with lenses, totalling more than 6 billion lens plays collectively per day.

– There are now more than 2.5 million lenses built over the course of Lens Studio’s lifetime.

– Those lenses have been viewed by users 3.5 trillion times, cumulatively.

– In the same cumulative time period, there have been more than 250,000 Lens Studio creators from 200 countries.

– More than 80 percent of Lens creators are based outside the U.S., which counters previous public market scrutiny that Snap was too U.S.-centric.

– Prior to bringing the Sounds lilbrary into Lens Studio (referenced above), Snaps created with soundtracks total 520 million.

– Moving on to AR commerce performance, 2 in 3 consumers are more likely to puchase a product after engaging with a branded AR experience (study done in tandem with Alter Agents).

– These AR-guided purchases also result in fewer returns, which total $7.5 billion in aggregate transaction value.

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Virtuous Cycle

Back to the new capabilities in Lens Studio, they carry an ongoing theme, which is to empower the Lens Studio creator community. Snap recognizes that lens creators kick off the “ virtuous cycle “ that attracts users, which then attract more developers, more users, then….brand marketers.

This theme was explicit throughout Lens Fest. Highlights include creator capabilities (API libraries and lens depth), creator exposure (profiles and networking) and creator monetization (lens-based calls to action). The latter can link users to creators’ eCommerce stores, for example.

In all of the above, another theme is the extension of lens capabilities from selfie fodder to world-facing lenses. As we’ve examined, this broadens AR use cases — and correspondingly, the addressable market of advertisers — beyond things that go on one’s face.

But more importantly, this shift to world-immersive lenses primes Lens Studio creators to start thinking spatially. In other words, they’re developing muscles for AR’s next evolution: AR glasses. In that form factor, selfie lenses will mostly recede as all AR lenses are world-facing.

After this data-centric rundown of Lens Fest, we’ll circle back in our XR Talks series to examine the full keynote and its product updates. Stay tuned…

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Snap Lens Fest: the Data Dive was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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