Instagram Stories has introduced a new feature to Stories which allows anyone to create and publish augmented reality effects, using Facebook’s Spark AR platform. While the social media app previously invited individuals to be part of a closed beta version of the project, it has now opened up to everyone to get creative with AR.
If you do publish an AR effect, anyone who follows you will automatically be able to access your effect in their tray or while using the Instagram camera. They can try it out by tapping on the effect name in a Story post. Instagram is also introducing the Effect Gallery which includes effects from emerging creators.
Video editor and director Chris Higa was part of the beta group, and comments in a press release from Instagram that he envisions this will have huge commercial impact. “My goal is to give companies an advantage by allowing their users to engage with their products in new and interesting ways,” he states. Artist Luke Hurd was also part of the group, and said its appeal was that it’s “on devices that everyone can use, doesn’t require headsets, and it has built-in shareability”.
In the year from May 2018 – May 2019, 1 billion people used AR across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Portal. Spark AR aims to simplify the process of designing, developing and publishing AR effects so the range of effects is widened and diversified, which Instagram says enables “more vibrant forms of digital expression”.