In this article we give you a quick overview of the different ways you can share your AR experience across all major platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the web.
Facebook AR effects are powered by Spark AR.
There are several ways you can share your Facebook AR effects with your audience. It’s worth noting that users will need to have the Facebook app installed on their mobile device in order to access the AR experience.
Firstly, users who already Like you on Facebook will be able to find your AR effects in the camera carousel on their app. This can be accessed in the following way:
Tap on the camera icon on the top left of the app.
Tap on the smiley icon on the bottom right.
Scroll across the effects in the carousel at the bottom of the screen. Your effect will appear on your followers’ carousel automatically.
SHARE YOUR EFFECT ON YOUR PAGE
You may also share your AR effect as a post on your brand’s Facebook Page. To do this:
On your desktop, go to facebook.com/sparkarhub.
Click on your AR effect.
On the left-hand column, click on ‘Share’.
Under Sharing, select ‘Create post’.
Upload a photo or video of your AR effect.
Add your text and click on ‘Post’ to share it on your Page. The post will include a ‘Try it’ button, prompting followers to use the AR effect themselves.
BOOST YOUR POST
As with any other Facebook post, you can boost your AR effect post using Facebook’s advertising platform. This will make your post appear higher in the News Feed, and will also allow you to target specific audiences.
LET USERS PROMOTE YOUR EFFECT FOR YOU
Another great thing about Facebook posts is that, every time someone uses your AR effect to create their own post, the same ‘Try it’ call to action will appear to all their followers, further expanding your reach through word of mouth.
SHARE A LINK TO YOUR FACEBOOK EFFECT
If you’d like people to access your Facebook effect without having to find you organically or through ads, you can simply link them to the effect directly. This is a handy way of sharing your effect via other digital channels, such as email marketing.
Clicking on the URL will prompt the Facebook camera to open on their smartphone, where they’ll be able to find the effect. If they’re on desktop, they will also have the option to ‘Send Notification’ to their mobile phone.
ALLOW USERS TO SCAN A CODE TO ACCESS YOUR FACEBOOK EFFECT
Alternatively, if you’d like users to easily access the effect at an event or from a printed source, you can simply create a QR code using websites such as QR Code Monkey, which they can scan using their phone camera. To create the code, all you will need is the effect URL.
As with Facebook, there are many ways you can share your Instagram effects with your followers or target audiences, as long as they have the Instagram app installed on their phones.
Just like with Facebook, your followers will be able to access any AR effects you publish in their stories carousel. This can be accessed in the following way:
Tap on the camera icon on the top left of the app.
Scroll through the effects in the carousel at the bottom of the screen. Your effect will appear on your followers’ carousel automatically.
Alongside the arrival of Instagram effects for brands, Instagram also introduced a new feature: the Effects tab.
The Effects tab enables your followers to access all of your Instagram effects without having to endlessly scroll through their carousel. They can find it by going to your profile and tapping on your Effects tab. Your effects will appear listed underneath it.
SHARE YOUR EFFECT ON YOUR STORIES
You can also share your AR effect as a story under your brand’s profile. To do this:
On the top left corner, tap on the camera icon.
Find your AR effect on your carousel.
Capture a photo or video and post your Story.
Your followers will be able to tap on your AR effect name at the top of the screen, and use it themselves.
Alternatively, you can add a CTA to any of your effects in any story, regardless of whether the story contains the effect or not. To do this, tap on the chain button at the top of the screen and select your effect of choice.
SHARE YOUR EFFECT AS AN INSTAGRAM POST
If you’d prefer to share your AR effect as a post instead of a story, you can follow the same steps, but instead of posting the story simply ‘Save’ it, and then upload it as a post instead.
Add the link to the effect in your bio and let followers know to find it there in the post description. Alternatively, you can tell them to go to your Effects tab on your profile to browse your effects.
SHARE A LINK TO YOUR INSTAGRAM EFFECT
If you’d like to give people access to your Instagram effect through other digital channels, you can simply link them to the effect directly. Clicking on the URL will prompt the Instagram camera to open on their smartphone, where they’ll be able to use and post the effect to their stories.
ALLOW USERS TO SCAN A CODE TO ACCESS YOUR INSTAGRAM EFFECT
Similarly to Facebook, you can also create a QR code using the effect’s URL on websites such as QR Code Monkey. This is a great way of enabling people to easily scan the effect at an event, or from a printed source.
Snapchat is a little different from Facebook and Instagram. Firstly, it uses its own Snapcodes, which are similar to QR codes. Secondly, it allows you to choose between two types of AR lenses: Community Lenses and Sponsored Lenses.
SHARE YOUR LENS IN YOUR STORIES OR AS A LINK OR SNAPCODE
Community lenses are free to post on Snapchat, but unfortunately you will need to share the Snapcode or URL with users for them to be able to access your effect. Once they do, the effect will get activated and appear on their carousel for 48 hours, after which it will disappear. Moreover, Community Lenses don’t allow you to link to an external URL.
On the other hand, Snapchat users who are ‘Subscribed’ to you will be able to find the Lens in any stories you publish using the Lens, so this is a great way to activate existing subscribers.
For these reasons, Community Lenses are not the best option if you’d like Snapchat users to find your effects organically, or if you’d like to promote your website. However, they are great options for physical activation (for example, if you’d like users to scan and use your effect at an event) and for sharing via other digital channels, such as email.
The benefit of Community Lenses versus Sponsored Lenses is that they will remain on Snapchat indefinitely unless you remove them, whereas Sponsored Lenses disappear after your paid campaign is over.
SPONSORED LENSES: GET DISCOVERED ON SNAPCHAT THROUGH A PAID CAMPAIGN
Sponsored Lenses are paid campaigns that allow you to target specific audiences on Snapchat, so that your Lens will appear on their carousel for a period of time. However, once the campaign is over, your Lens will disappear from Snapchat entirely.
Sponsored Lenses allow you to include a CTA button, so they are great ways to link back to your website.
You can also share your Sponsored Lenses using a Snapcode via other digital channels, but bear in mind that this link will not be available once the paid campaign is over.
For these reasons, Sponsored Lenses are best suited for short-term highly-targeted campaigns, particularly around a specific goal or product.
If you are building a web-based AR effect, great news: all you need is to share your effect as a link or a QR code, and that’s it! You may share it via your usual digital channels, as you would with any other Marketing campaign.
To create a QR code, you can simply go to a QR code generating website such as QR Code Monkey and enter your effect’s URL.