snapchat lenses

DIY Instagram AR Filters


Instagram released Spark AR effects yesterday allowing anyone to create and publish their own AR lens. They also introduced the new Effect Gallery, which includes specialized AR effects from rising artists to discover unique effects from the creator community.

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As published by Facebook for Developers:

“More than 1 billion people have already used AR effects and filters powered by Spark AR on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Portal, and we can’t wait for even more people to experience all that AR has to offer on Instagram. 

Stories to tell

Instagram Stories let you express yourself in the moment and connect with friends, and AR adds rich, interactive, and dynamic layers to those experiences. AR lets artists, creators, and designers make custom effects to share with their communities and enable more vibrant forms of digital expression — and we’re happy to help bring the Spark AR community’s creative visions to life.

The creator community

A graphic design and advertising student, Aliya Ataulova (@whiteabysses) has published seven Spark AR effects to Instagram so far. She sees AR as fundamental to the future of art creation, though getting started at first appeared daunting. 

“I had never worked with 3D before Spark AR, so all of these portals and hole effects were difficult to understand at first,” Ataulova explains. And then, she discovered Spark AR Studio.

“When you spend time trying and trying, you eventually get what you want — and it all starts to make sense,” she says. 

Luke Hurd (@lukehurd) has created 30 Spark AR effects to date to reach his community on their social platform of choice. “What drew me to Spark AR was this great feature set,” he explains. “It’s on devices that everyone can use, doesn’t require headsets, and it has built-in shareability. Really, everything connected to the point where I thought, ‘I really need to be involved in this and figure out how people use this.’” 

With a career that spans three decades, Hurd definitely knows his way around emerging technologies and their ability to change the ways we see and live in the world — and he understands that along with that opportunity comes the obligation to build with people in mind. As Hurd notes, “My advice to augmented reality developers: Be a good steward to the technology and understand that you’re carrying this thing to the future of society.”

A full-time video editor and television director, Chris Higa (@chriseditingofficial) draws his inspiration from trending cultural moments — like the recent Area 51 meme, which fueled the creation of his collaboration with Sallia Goldstein (@salliasnap), Alien Effect

Since joining the Spark AR creator community, Higa has found the people to be positive and supportive. And in the future, he sees a huge opportunity for AR at large-scale events, particularly for brands looking to stand out. “My goal is to give companies an advantage by allowing their users to engage with their products in new and interesting ways,” he says. “I want to work with companies at events to provide those unique experiences.”

Whether you want to add a new layer of fun to an event like a wedding, birthday party, or graduation with a custom filter or you’re a professional who wants to continue to hone their craft, Spark AR Studio has everything you need to get started. And with Instagram Stories being used by over 500 million users daily, there’s no better place to express yourself with your own AR effects — or simply share the ways you’re using them with your community. Visit to get started or join the Spark AR Community Facebook Group to learn more.”

Marketing in the Digital Age: News Round-Up (week ending 4.6.18)


Targeted ads: coming soon to your video-on-demand... 

Targeted Ads Coming to Your TV

Summary: A cable company that owns NCC announced it will launch a division dedicated to selling targeted ads to cable systems nationwide. The ads will appear on video-on-demand services. 

Opinion: While I like the idea of seeing ads that would pertain to me more so, my concern is that it leads to more information bias.  Now when watching ads on tv or ads online, I can come across info that may not be part of my current belief system-- for instance, an opposing political view ad.  What I find important is to see how another side views issues and to learn from them hopefully to make more informed decisions.  Being served ads that only cater to my likes could block opportunities to learn about opposing viewpoints. 

Media Ratings Council Gives Facebook Accreditation for Ad Impressions

Summary: The Media Ratings Council has given approval of Facebook and Instagram ad impressions. What this means is that it has been accredited for whether an ad is served.  That's it, not something more like viewability or invalid metrics though this is a positive step.  

Opinion: Well, it's a positive first step.  As marketers, having validity of more meaningful metrics, like viewability, are helpful in creating more meaningful content and targeting for consumers to meet business needs.  

Facebook Scans Messages for Abuse

Summary: Facebook does not listen in on your calls.  What it does monitor is "sensational messages" sent via Messenger, which came about because of some messaging taking place in Myanmar serving up incorrect information to people about Rohingya, the Muslim minority group in Myanmar.  

Opinion: As Congressional hearings progress around Facebook and Zuckerberg, it will be interesting to see where regulation nets out in regards to the social media giant.  Social media has served as a platform and communication tool for many political movements, both good and bad.  A level of regulation seems necessary. 

Snapchat Augmented Reality Lens for iPhone X Only

Summary: Snapchat released iPhone X specific lenses.  The three mask lenses truly do make it look like the masks are painted on you.  

Opinion: Although it's not going to get me to spend $1000 on an iPhone X or use Snapchat more, if you already have them the lenses do look pretty cool.