Over the past few months, Facebook and Messenger have introduced their own version of Stories, and Instagram upped its already-existent Stories game. But the place of the original Stories, Snapchat, has stayed relatively quiet. Now we know why.
Today, Snapchat is unrolling the biggest update to its lenses since they launched a year and a half ago: 3D experiences. These will enable you to interact with and explore the animations you see onscreen like never before. Like the augmented reality used in Pokémon Go, Snapchat’s update will make it seem as if the animated graphics in your lenses are appearing in real life, whether you choose to plant 3D flowers that sprout as you walk forward or place a smiling, rotating rainbow above a friend’s head. The closer you walk to those flowers, the larger they will appear, just as they would in real life.
Last year, the newly formed Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, defined itself as a camera company. This update reaffirms that role. While Snap isn't releasing a new camera, it is changing how we use our phone's camera to engage with the world around us.
To activate the new lenses, just put your camera in rear-facing mode and tap the camera screen. Unlike past lenses, there are multiple options for each one in your carousel. To switch from one to another, just keep tapping the screen.
The question remains: Now that you can dance around rainbows, will anyone want to wear flower crowns anymore? Well, maybe just for the duration of Coachella.