Snap has unveiled a new program aimed connecting brands with expert AR creators in order to design more engaging and immersive Lenses for the platform. The Lens Creative Partners Program is beginning with just over 30 certified creators, from large agencies to individuals, but is expected to onboard over 100 over the next few months.
Creators looking to be certified by the Program must demonstrate experience in developing quality AR experiences, and have completed a rigorous course about the development processes, creative best practices, ad policies and buy models that govern AR Lenses on Snapchat.
Snap is hoping that the Program will provide brands with access to expert AR ad creators, regardless of budget, brand or regional location, and encourage more advertisers to experiment with creating AR experiences on its platform.
In the UK, agencies including Wieden + Kennedy, Adam&eve, We Are Social, Objectspace, DDB and Wunderman have signed up to be part of the Program, and are on course to be certified shortly.
More than a third of Snapchat's 186m daily active users plays with AR Lenses on the app every day, averaging three minutes of use each. Over 250,000 Lenses have been submitted to Snapchat's Lens Studio, which enables creators to build AR experiences, and submitted Lenses have been viewed by Snapchat users over 15bn times.
While Snapchat's use of AR was an early differentiator for the platform, it has since faced increasing competition from rival service Instagram, which has replicated many of its features and has a significantly larger audience. Encouraging brand use of AR Lenses could boost engagement rates with the platform, while also bringing in crucial advertising revenues.