If you or your brand is using the Instagram platform as one of your main social channels, then I probably don’t need to tell you about how effective they can be for engaging your audience as well as attracting new followers on the Instagram platform. Last year it was reported that 500 million Instagram accounts used Instagram Stories on a daily basis. These Insta Stories have all sorts of fun and interactive features, one of which is Instagram AR filters.
Now you might be thinking that Augmented Reality sounds a bit out of reach and it all just generally seems a bit much, something that your audience isn’t really looking for, but these AR filters have been around on Instagram since 2017. It has just only been in the last 6 months that Instagram has opened out its AR filter gallery to allow any AR creator to design, upload and distribute their very own AR filters through Instagram.
What Is Instagram AR?
You’re probably familiar with them. You know the dog face with the tongue animation that seemed to be everywhere? They’re those same face filters that you’ve seen being shared since 2017. Those AR filters are composed by layering 3D models and various effects that are augmented into the real world through your phone’s camera. These Instagram AR filters are quite a bit different and are not to be confused with built-in image preset filters. The ones that change the overall look and colour of your photos before you publish them.
Why Use Instagram AR?
There really is so many different applications for these AR filters, they are applicable for so many different types of businesses. A general rule I would tend to go by is if your business is currently on Instagram and is looking for ways of increasing the attention it receives, particularly towards a millennial or youth audience, then an AR filter is going to be a good fit for your brand. To add to that if you are marketing a product that could be augmented to facilitate a virtual try on or you are looking to increase shareability of branded content for an event than an AR filter is a perfect fit for your brand. Remember, a third of Instagram Stories with the highest views were all from business accounts. Below we will discuss how your brand can leverage AR filters.
Convey Your Brand Or Aspects Of It
These filters are fun and engaging. You can literally do so much with them. It’s not just about getting your logo in a banner or making sure your brand colours are represented. The versatility is endless. They can be humorous, exciting, scary, visually amazing. Or all of the above. We always strive to create AR filters that reflect not only your brand tone, but also unique elements of your brand.
Create Deeper Connections & Widen Your Audience
In 2019 over 500 million users were engaging with Instagram Stories on a daily basis. It is reported that over 60% of business accounts are increasing their monthly engagement by incorporating an interactive element into their Instagram Stories. Whilst you are not really permitted to upload promotional filters, if you incorporate your logo or mascot into the filter its usually okay. Once you are listed in Instagram’s Effect Gallery, new followers will be able to find it. Every time a user shares an image using your AR filter you are widening your audience even further.
Stand Out From The Competition
These custom AR filters for Instagram are still very new and there are not that many brands who are using them, and even less who are using them to their highest potential. These filters can be used on a functional basis to serve a purpose such as a custom AR filter to create a virtual try on before making a purchase. Or they can be used to increase shareability of content leading up to or during an event. They don’t even have to be used solely for self-promotion. Your brand could create an AR filter to show support for a cause.
Types Of Instagram AR Filters?
When it comes to Instagram AR filters, all of them tend to fall into one type or another, with some even combining multiple types into one to create a very detailed AR experience for the user. From the simple face paint AR filters to more complex 3D animations with tracking, to highly custom AR game filters. There is a variety of AR filter types that you can choose from, which Instagram is continuously pushing what is possible as it adds more and more features in effort to catch up with the more developed Snapchat lens studio platform.
Face Paint AR Camera Effect
These are on the simpler end of the AR camera effects but are still very widely used. Naturally these type of filters lend themselves particularly well to support the promotion of and increase on the day engagement of events. They are also effective for spreading awarness for differnet causes and providing a mechanism for any followers to show their support regardless of their location.
3D Object Tracking AR Effects
These AR filters can encompass a wide range of filters. In fact the majority of brand filters that you come across, usually tend to at least involve this type of AR filter. You can sometimes get premade models that might suit, or on occasion these model can be tweaked for purpose, but really the sky is the limit when it comes to these filters. The very best AR filters that utilise 3D object tracking tend to make use of custom 3D models and animation sequences that provide a unique branded filter with a more polished and proffessional feel.
Game AR Camera Effects
These game AR filters are much less common due to the complexity of developing them. They require scripting and game logic and can’t be done solely with the patch editor. However, the additional effort in development is certainly well reflected in the notably larger engagement that typically results from these executions. There are a few types of basic games that can be created, with the main controls requiring a head tilt or an eye blink. These game AR camera effects can be amplified further when used as an entry mechanism for a competition.