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Asos among first retailers to introduce new Instagram AR filters

Retailers are looking at how they can embrace the latest update to the Instagram app which allows all users to create videos and photos with augmented reality (AR) effects.

Online fashion house Asos is one of the first to fine tune its own social media offering in accordance with the AR update, announcing on Friday night that it has launched its own Instagram filters. In a tweet, Asos encouraged its customers and followers to “give 'em a go and tag us to share”.

Via its Spark AR platform, Instagram owner Facebook has been running a closed beta version of this AR tool for some time – but last week it unveiled Spark AR’s public beta on Instagram, making the tool available to everybody.

The aim is to allow people to customise the pictures and videos they share on social media using basic coding skills.

Instagram also introduced its new ‘Effect Gallery’, which includes niche AR effects from up-and-coming artists, and aims to make it easier for people to discover unique effects from the creator community. To try them out, users need to choose “Browse Effects” which is located at the end of their effects tray in the Instagram Camera.

The social media site said that more than one billion people worldwide have already used AR effects and filters powered by Spark AR on its Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Portal platforms, but that number is set to increase now the tool is open to all.

Asos’ first AR Instagram filter was an image of Asos packaging, which it layered over a woman’s eyes to make it appear she had Asos on her mind. This is the sort of creativity now available to retailers and other businesses looking to engage shoppers via social media.

Retailers will inevitably also be on the look out for customers creating their own AR effects related to products and brand, with this new medium potentially creating further opportunities for user-generated content marketing.

The Tech@Facebook site, run by the social media company, said: “Whether you want to add a new layer of fun to an event like a wedding, birthday party, or graduation with a custom filter or you’re a professional who wants to continue to hone their craft, Spark AR Studio has everything you need to get started.

“And with Instagram Stories being used by over 500 million users daily, there’s no better place to express yourself with your own AR effects – or simply share the ways you’re using them with your community.”

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