Instagram has started an AR battle with Snapchat following their recent new filter release. If you haven’t heard about the ‘gendered’ filters that Snapchat released recently, you can read all about it here.
Four days ago, Pepsi announced that their Summer campaign would include using a host of QR codes across their bottles that will unlock hundreds of AR filters and digital stickers. If this feels a little déjà vu, then you’re not wrong. Pepsi actually released a similar campaign back in 2017, with one key difference. Back then, they did this on Snapchat, but this time they will be collaborating with Instagram.
This campaign is the latest move by Instagram, in the hope of expanding AR onto their platform. It was also announced at F8 (Facebook’s annual developer conference) that they would be opening the Instagram AR our of closed Beta this summer. This essentially means that any AR developer who uses Facebook spark platform can now share any of their creations to Instagram as well.
Snapchat may have been the early lead in AR, it’s thought that Instagram can provide a more valuable experience to creators and brands.
Brandon Sears, the CEO of Scarlet Social, a digital agency, has said that he’s seen AR creators on Instagram reach hundreds of thousands and even a million more followers after launching new filters.
Sears also said that “Snapchat does this too, but the difference is that Snapchat is a more personal platform to chat on, not to really grow a large following as the sorting on stories currently doesn’t encourage views from new subscribers,”.
However, there are some saying that Instagram is not quite ready to enter to world of AR. This is because Instagram doesn’t currently have the ability to ‘unlock codes’, unlike Snapchat who utilize ‘Snapcodes’ to unlock new AR filters. Instead, Pepsi is utilizing QR codes which will require users to scan the codes through their camera app and then go on the Instagram app, as opposed to scanning directly on Instagram.
One AR developer has said, “Really the tech is not ready at all,”.
According to another AR developer, who is currently working with Instagram, the platforms internal team are working on a Snapcode of their own, to allow for better integration.