Snapchat rolls out the update with augmented reality Lenses. Today it launched Snappables — AR games that use your touch, motion and facial expressions to compete for high scores or in literal head-to-head multiplayer match-ups. The update will rolling out globally this week. While Snapchat has also set forth it’s redesign of redesign in next month.
Coming back to Snappables, The games sound similar to Snapchat’s Cuphead lens, which let you treat your friends as bosses to destroy. Some other games includes an Asteroids-style space shooter, a bubble gum popping contest, a weight lifting one you play by straining your forehead, a kiss-blowing game, an egg catching competition and a dance party. Also, Report says that users can add friends to a rock band, challenge them to an emoji dance-off, or play basketball.
Snap clearly wants to differentiate itself and prove how much more users can do on its platform versus on any other social network. The games look like fun time-sucks, but I don’t think they’ll bring people to the platform. Instead, they seem neat for people who already live in the app with friends.
As unusual as it might seem to make games through Lenses, rather than stand-alone mini-apps, it makes sense for a company in the midst of a turnaround. Games not only increase the chance you’ll use Lenses, but also make it likelier that you’ll stay inside the app for longer. A back-and-forth game rivalry might last longer than a short exchange of ordinary Lenses.
Snapchat could use Snappables to strengthen growth after years of battling Instagram for users and a big redesign that’s received harsh reviews. I can imagine more art-based co-creation Snappables coming in the future, where you cooperate to create a masterpiece. Of course, Instagram probably won’t be far behind in offering games inside Stories.
Instagram, Snap’s biggest competitor, hasn’t yet introduced games into its app or really invested in AR filters to the level that Snap has. Still, Facebook already features in-platform games that it could potentially port over to Instagram.