Augmented reality (AR) experiences, like Snapchat Lenses and Instagram Effects, have become bread and butter to social media users. Highly popular, they provide an incredibly effective way of reaching customers on social channels. This explains why social AR should be a fundamental marketing consideration for any business that wants to grow its customer base.
The problem is, that although social AR platforms are now simple and intuitive to use, many businesses don’t know where to start when it comes developing an AR lens that will draw in customers. So, as an antidote to the densely worded AR guides and forums, this article offers an easy-to-digest overview of social AR’s gloriously creative possibilities.
To create an AR experience that will ignite across social channels, the core idea has to be highly sharable. Users are motivated to engage with and share an AR experience when it makes them look cool, makes someone laugh, helps them express something or be part of a cultural moment.
Although it’s possible to let users augment their environment with digital layers that surprise and delight, giving users an opportunity to manipulate their face offers even more entertainment while tapping into selfie culture. So face manipulation is often the key to creating highly shareable social AR content.
Once you’ve cracked a killer idea that neatly aligns with your business, it’s time to work out where the experience will ‘live’: Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram? Or should it be web? Or an app?
After these fundamental decisions have been made, it’s time to look at ‘elements’ – the basic building blocks of an AR experience. Elements fall into different categories, ranging from facemasks to 3D portals. And it’s these elements that hold the potential for highly shareable experiences.
There are many different ways to augment a face. From duplicating features to creating masks, distorting elements, changing colours

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