Capturing the attention of internet users is way easier with AR and Social Media. Unlike plain graphics and videos, they have an extra flair that makes them fun and interactive. Moreover, Augmented Reality in social media has proven to have a great impact. It is evident how viral they became with platforms like Snapchat as face filters. AR-based face filters are popular and regularly shared among the growing fan base of these platforms. However, there is much more beyond face filters. 

While face filters use “face tracking” features to overlay virtual objects on people’s faces, there are other evolving technologies like “image tracking” and “surface tracking” that do a wonderful job when it comes to attracting audiences with AR social posts.

If we go by the current trends, the impact of AR in social media will continue to grow. Brands and businesses active on these platforms must be at the forefront to ensure these changes can help them boost their sales. 

How is Augmented Reality used in Social media?

AR is rapidly shaping how we post content on social media. It brings out the best in content creation by combining the physical worlds and virtual objects to provide users with an unparalleled experience, from interactive AR social media ads to filters to try on. AR-powered content across social media platforms is received well, performing better than images and videos. While it initially became popular on Snapchat, Augmented Reality in marketing is picking up on other channels due to possibilities beyond face tracking which was initially just an entertainment and a fun factor that engaged users. 

Many new doors have opened for creative content creators and brands willing to use and integrate AR features to push online story-telling and content creation to the next level. From virtual product reviews to using filters to promote a brand, AR on social media and its potential is being used to the full extent. The two most popular uses of AR after face filters include:

eCommerce and try-before-buy

Trying products before buying them is the best use case for eCommerce brands to add to their marketing strategy, including how they convey the same across social media platforms where most online buyers live. It is highly unlikely for a user to scroll without spending enough time on a “ try-before-buy” – it can be a funky hat try-on, a comfy couch, or a shining decorative that the social being will love engaging with.

AR social media advertising

Curating interactive advertising is a skill. AR adds a little extra charm to an otherwise appealing ad. Imagine if users could scan that newspaper ad through their phones to see and interact with their favorite bikes, wearables, consumer durables, and other things you can think of. It adds to the user’s tactile experience when they can pinch to zoom in, zoom out, and interact with them for a wholesome experience. 

How is it helping Brands? 

The introduction of e-commerce has changed how brands interact with their customers for decades. Now, with AR entering the space, this change will be more substantial for brands.

Introduction of AR shopping

Shopping from social media platforms is not a new phenomenon, but with AR, this experience can be more immersive and unique to engage the customers and capture their interest. With increasingly hectic modern life, visiting physical stores will no longer be the preference over online shopping, with something like AR enabling an immersive and confident buying experience. 

AR events soaring in popularity

Why would you visit a crowded hall or event when you can enjoy the entire experience with all its showbiz from the comfort of your home? Since COVID-19, many brands like Samsung and events like PGA Tours have started to see AR-based online events as a better alternative. 

AR content is the new hype 

Be it AR campaigns or AR-based content like videos and filters, brands and creators are using it all to engage with their customers more effectively and provide them with the best services. From Pepsi to Pizza Hut, AR content has been popular among users for its uniqueness and playfulness.

Immersive communication 

There are many communication options on social media platforms, but with the increase in globalization, the need for a more immersive way of communication is uncontested. AR-based features like immersive video calling or digital avatars allow us to do just that. We all knowingly or unknowingly use these features daily through social media platforms like Meta and Snapchat.

AR Social Media Platforms and how they evolved

Augmented reality (AR) technology has seen rapid advancement and adoption over the past few years. AR social media apps and features have evolved as smartphones and mobile devices have become more powerful and widespread. It has paved the way for innovative AR-based social media platforms that allow users to interact and share content in new and immersive ways. 

One of the most popular early AR social apps was Pokémon GO, which superimposed Pokémon characters into real-world environments. Released in 2016, it rapidly became a global phenomenon and introduced AR to the mainstream. Building on this, an increasing number of AR social platforms have emerged in the past few years, incorporating capabilities like augmented face filters, 3D avatars, and shared virtual spaces.

Meta and Snapchat now offer a range of AR lenses and effects. Meanwhile, apps like Instagram, TikTok, and many metaverse platforms allow users to create mini virtual worlds, interact with virtual influencers, and share AR content.

The Future of Augmented Reality in Social Media

Social media and AR are only the beginning of a much larger, longer-term shift towards immersive digital spaces as central platforms for communication. As hardware, software, and connectivity continue improving in the years ahead, ever more seamless and easy AR content creation approaches will evolve. 

As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella summarized, “We are hardwired to be social beings, but the time and space to interact with one another are limited. AR can transcend these barriers—we can be together even when physically apart.” The growth trajectory also suggests that AR apps could soon play this central role in digital social connection.

AR experiences are already intertwined with our social media applications. With the growing popularity of AR in social media and the possibility, it provides to creative individuals and brands. AR will soon be the go-to idea for campaign creation. So, if you are looking to outperform with your next social media plan, add AR content to your content calendar. Consider signing up for PlugXR’s no-code platform, which is free, easy to use, and powerful.


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