Snapchat is introducing the ability to build face filters for their app to their developer platform.

This comes four months after introducing the Lens Studio platform, which has since allowed creators to build augmented reality objects that Snap calls “World Lenses”.

The company is releasing seven new templates into Lens Studio which range in complexity. These templates include virtual hats, face paint and tools to attach 3D objects to a user’s head.

Additionally, Lens Studio is getting Giphy integration starting today. Gifs were added to Snapchat back in February 2018 and were subsequently taken down due to the discovery of a racist gif in Giphy’s database. Giphy apologised for the slip up and improved gif moderation since the incident. Snapchat subsequently re-enabled gif support via Giphy but now gifs can be featured in lenses too.

Since the launch of Lens Studio, more than 30000 lenses were created in the first two months, raking in more than 1 billion cumulative views. Eitan Pilipski, who runs the camera platform at Snap, stated “we’re blown away by the participation, the level of engagement, and the type of creativity that has happened”.

Lens Studio will let creators build a simple face filter in as little as five minutes according to a beta tester that spoke with The Verge. Once the lens is uploaded, the company will generate a snapcode and deep link that, once is tapped, opens the lens within Snapchat for 24 hours. The code itself will remain live for a year after it’s created so you can unlock it multiple times and send it to friends quite easily.

To promote the efforts of a filter creator, Snapchat will generate a story for all public snaps created using the lens. For example, if the next dancing hot dog meme is started by a Snapchat user, you’ll be able to browse all public snaps posted to the “Our Story” feature over the past 24 hours using that specific lens.

In the Discover tab, community lenses will be showcased and you can unlock these by swiping up on the particular story that catches your eye. You can check out how Discover works in this video.

To round things off, Snap has also announced the Official Creator Program, which rewards top creators with extra promotion, technical support and early access to new features and templates.


[Image – CC 0 by TeroVesalainen]