TikTok New Augmented Reality Tools: What It Can Learn From Its Competitors?

Effect House allows creators to make their own AR camera effects that other TikTok users in videos can use. Sam O’Brien, CMO of performance marketing platform Affise, says: ‘Implementing these effects to the platform will spark the attention of celebrity and influencer pages, opening a brand new world of AR creativity.’

‘However, there are risks to the new platform AR tool, with the effects potentially harmful to users with photosensitivity due to some displaying flashing lights and contrasting patterns. Effects that promote colourism or negative stereotypes against protected groups and effects that depict cosmetic surgery, such as lip fillers, or encourage scrutiny of someone’s appearance are also prohibited.’

While competitors Snapchat and Instagram adopted AR tools early last year, Sam O’Brien looks back to when similar tools were launched and analyses how successful it was for the brand.

Snapchat AR shopping

In May last year, Snapchat launched a raft of new shopping features, including an augmented reality (AR) try-on feature and a new ‘Screenshop’ product discovery tool. Amid its aggressive push into e-commerce, retail brands were then able to set up shoppable product catalogues. Customers could place orders directly in the Snapchat app and add their AR filters.’

‘In January 2022, Snapchat launched an augmented reality (AR) shoppable filter in January two beauty companies- Ulta Beauty and MAC Cosmetics, allowing users to switch through virtual make-up looks with various products and brands, linked directly to a company’s product catalogue. The move was a success, and according to Snapchat, 93% of its users have shown interest in using AR filters for shopping, and the company’s users engage with its AR features more than six billion times a day.’

Facebook & Instagram spark AR studio

‘Spark Augment Reality is a software developed by Facebook to create augmented reality effects for Facebook and Instagram easily. Essentially, it is 3D objects that can be layered over our real-life environment using devices like smartphones, tablets or augmented reality glasses like Microsoft’s HoloLens or the Google Glass.’

‘The tool has inspired thousands of private and business users to create augmented reality filters to engage with audiences and take online communications to the next level. Sonic 2 the movie was promoted using AR effects, and this then encouraged users to use the sonic themes filters, encouraging users to spread the word of the film premiere. More than 600 million people across Instagram and Facebook use AR filters.’

IKEA studio app

‘While these social media platforms kicked off the AR craze, several big retailers have taken them under their wing and grew their customer base even further. Ikea’s design lab, Space10, revamped Ikea’s AR offering to create a more functional and immersive experience.’

‘Previously, the Ikea Place app allowed users to place virtual furniture in a room; however, now using LiDAR sensors in iPhones, and the new Ikea Studio app enables users to capture “entire 3D room plans and redesign them, incorporating everything from windows and door frames to wall colours and rugs. Since this immersive takeover, the app has gained around 9.5 million unique global monthly users.’

Pull & Bear – Pacific AR video game

‘To reach 90% of Generation Z who are also gamers, Pull & Bear launched ‘Pacific Game’ – an AR game created in collaboration with Facebook’s ‘Creative Shop’. A virtual trip from California to Tokyo allows users to move their heads to dodge obstacles and collect points along the way.’

While it isn’t specifically targeted at the fashion industry, users can play the game through Instagram, Facebook, and the retailer’s website. While luxury fashion brands such as Moschino and Gucci had already tapped into the gaming market, this is one of the first examples of a more affordable brand.