Meta’s looking to encourage more creators into the AR ecosystem by opening up its Spark AR Go app in closed beta, which enables anyone to create their own AR effects for Instagram within a simplified app flow.
As explained by Meta:
“Spark AR Go is an iOS app designed to let creators whose first mediums may be something like photography, memes, art, or video express themselves and their perspectives through AR. Creators will be able to extend their personal brands, assets, and creative vision to fans in new ways – like with custom AR quizzes, unique background replacement, or a one-of-a-kind makeup look.”
The app, originally called ‘Polar’, was first announced by Meta at its Connect 2021 Conference, and has since been renamed to better align with the company’s broader AR deveopment.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared his own AR effect to announce the expanded beta access.
Spark AR Go includes built-in templates, switch-and-slide tools, and other options to make it easier to create in AR, providing more opportunity for artists, and even non artists, to come up with their own AR takes.
“Once a creator publishes, their effects will appear on their Instagram profile.”
Similar to Snapchat’s Lens Studio, Meta is hoping that by providing a more simplified, streamlined AR creation flow, that will get more people interested in the option, which could then ensure that it ends up hosting the next big AR trends and tools in its apps, as opposed to them bringing people to Snap or TikTok instead.
This is a smart path to take. While Meta has all the technical resources and tools at its disposal, in recent times, it’s been largely reliant on the innovation of other apps for its product development, with Meta continuously playing catch up by replicating features wherever it can, as opposed to creating its own movements and shifts, and maintaining its lead in the social app race.
That’s important, especially given Meta’s stated desire to re-establish its connection with younger audiences. Younger users will align with the platform that leads the way, and you’d have to say that neither Facebook nor Instagram are in that position any more.
Can Meta regain that spot, and re-establish its connection with the youth?
Again, it has all the tools at its disposal, and the broadest reach of any social app. And by opening up its tools to more creators, there is absolutely a chance that Meta can come across the next trending AR tools, which could then lead into the next stage of its AR glasses, and make Facebook and Instagram the cool places to be once again.
The expansion of Spark AR Go is another small step in this process.