Will Snapchat's Use of Augmented Reality Drive the Brand Forward?

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Snapchat today launched a unique augmented reality (AR) art project around the world, with a potential to connect artists and the platform’s users in a way that hasn’t been done before.

Pop artist Jeff Koons and others are featured in the project that allows "art to be pinned to specific locations in augmented reality so users can see it when they hold up their phones in the right spot. Snapchat will solicit sign-ups from artists who want their art added to the platform” reported “TechCrunch.”

The technology is said to be based from an Israeli AR startup Snapchat acquired late 2016, called— Cimagine.

The news come after the social media platform accidentally leaked the launch by not securing data on a website that was accessible to skillful hackers.

The AR art project launch is "timed with Snap CEO Evan Spiegel’s talk at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit,” reported "TechCrunch."

Will this stunt project involving digital pop art help grow Snapchat’s low new member sign-up numbers and engagement?

Lately, Snapchat has shown slow user growth and advertisers have been cautious of investing their ad dollars in the company even with Snapchat’s efforts to better cater to advertisers.

This week, eMarkerter revealed in new report, “Snapchat’s worldwide ad revenues will total $774.1 million this year” which is over $125 million less than the company predicted in March 2017.

Instagram, which launched its “Stories” feature to compete with Snapchat in August 2016, is expected to be the ghost app’s biggest rival in the coming years.

According to eMarketer's predictions, Snapchat’s users are expected to use the app 28 minutes a day in 2019, one minute more than Instagram’s users, which are expected to use the app 27 minutes a day that same year.

Despite said predictions more ad dollars go into Facebook and Instagram.

“Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the world's largest ad agency group WPP, said his company would spend $200 million on Snapchat on behalf of clients this year, double its spend in 2016. But Sorrell called this figure "a flea on the elephant's backside" compared to Facebook, on which it will spend more than $2 billion in 2017,” reported CNBC.

This may be a result of Snapchat’s slow adaption to embrace influencers, as reported by insights company L2. It’s not until August 2017, that Snapchat began to provide “Official Stories” accounts, the equivalent to a “Verified” account on Instagram and Twitter, to social media stars— not just celebrities.

In a survey included in L2’s Influencers Intelligence Report, “when influencers were asked to name the most important platform for them, not a single participant cited Snapchat.”

This is significant since brands seem increasingly willing to work with influencers more nowadays, as reported by “Forbes.”

With Snapchat's recent launch of 3D animated bitmojis and move towards AR, this opens the doors of creativity and innovation for brands to advertise with Snapchat moving forward.