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February 8, 2018

Snapchat now lets you create custom, wacky AR Lenses with new fee-based tool

by John_A

Tired of the puppy dog face and dancing hot dog? Snapchat is now allowing users to create their own augmented reality lenses. On Feb. 8, Snapchat launched Create Your Own Lens, a tool that lets users add their own Snapchat Lens to the app’s popular AR features. The tool is designed for tasks like creating a custom graphic for a wedding, party, or another event.

Unlike Snapchat’s Lens Studio that’s designed for businesses, Create Your Own Lens is off-limits to business. Snap Inc. says the tool is designed with the everyday user in mind, and that the custom lenses can be generated in as little as five minutes. Part of that simplicity is a template-based system with personalization options. At launch, the collection includes more than 150 templates.

Snap Inc. says the tool is designed for parties and events, or to use as a gift. The tool is rolling out on the web and iOS today, but the company says an Android option is in the works. Snapchat is rolling the option out to users in the U.S. first, with a global rollout planned. The custom filter’s aren’t free, however, with prices starting at $10.

The tool is also launching with additional type options, including brush, italics, glow, gradient, rainbow, and Old English font designs for Snap captions.

So, how do you create a custom Snapchat lens?

There are two options to access the tool. The first is by heading to Mobile users can go to settings, then “filters and lenses” to access the same tool. (As mentioned, mobile option is currently only for iOS, but an Android version is coming soon.)

Once inside the lens creation tool, users start by choosing a template from the options. Then, those AR lenses can be customized with different text options. The option to add a photograph, which Snapchat had before the launch of the lens designer, is also available here.

After the lens design is complete, enter a time and location for when the lens will be live for that event. Snapchat allows you to choose between 20,000 to 5 million square feet, which means you can allow that filter to go out a few blocks if you’d like.

Once the design is finished and times and location established, users just need to check out. Snapchat says you need to check out at least three hours before the start time in order to ensure the lens is available for the entire event.

The Create Your Own Lens option expands on the Lens Studio that launched in December. The newest option is designed for any user, while the desktop-based Studio is geared toward businesses and users with a bit more computer savvy. Snapchat also allows users to create custom Geofilters, a tool that launched in 2016.

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