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Snapchat Shares the Top AR Tools and Campaigns of 2021

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Snapchat has shared a new overview of the top AR campaigns and tools in its ‘Lens of the Year’ report, which points to the increasing value of AR, for varying purpose.

As per Snap:

“With over 6 billion plays per day on average, Lenses offer a unique window into the year’s cultural moments, achievements in AR innovation, and trends that made a lasting impact. Join us as we celebrate our community and the 2021 Lenses that revolutionized the way Snapchatters create, explore, learn, and play.

The overview provides some interesting perspective on broader web trends, while also highlighting how they can be incorporated into AR applications. And with AR set to become an even bigger part of digital advertising moving forward, it’s worth taking note of the top trends, with a view to how you might be able to use such tools in your own promotional efforts.

First off, on the top AR trends of the year, Snapchat reports that ‘Little Bernie’, ‘Squid Game’ and ‘3D Cartoon’ were the most popular Lenses in the app.

Snapchat Lens examples

No doubt you’ve seen all of these, in varying form, throughout the year, with each of them viewed billions of times.

Of course, two of these are tied into broader web trends, not Snapchat or AR-specific ones, making them harder to adopt as brand promotional tools. But they do provide some pointers as to what Snapchatters are looking to engage with, which could get you thinking about how to create viral moments with your own AR campaigns.

Other popular Lenses include the ‘Smile’ lens, which pastes a smile on your face – whether you’re actually happy or not, the ‘Photo Crop’ Lens to focus on specific elements in-frame, and ‘Fire Glasses’, which adds active flames to your virtual sun shades.

Snapchat AR examples

Snapchat also highlights the top music-inspired Lenses in the app, with more than 1.2 billion video Snaps created in 2021 that include audio accompaniment. Snap has been expanding its audio options throughout the year, as it looks to align with TikTok-lead usage, which also includes its recent addition of sound clips for Snaps from popular TV shows.

The most popular musicians in the app, via dedicated Lenses, were J Balvin, Olivia Rodrigo, the Notorious B.I.G. for a little retro flavor.

Snapchat also highlights key brand uses of AR, with product applications advancing to provide a valuable supplementary element, and better facilitate online shopping.

“AR is the future of shopping – it can help visualize not just how a pair of sunglasses looks, but how it looks on you. Going beyond today’s online 2D shopping experience, AR makes trying on clothes completely custom. From Prada to MAC Cosmetics, there are so many ways to express your style and get your hands on the most covetable items of the year.”

Indeed, Snap’s AR try-on tools are evolving, including virtual handbags from Prada, clothing try-on via Farfetch and sunglasses from Zenni. 

Snapchat AR examples

Snap’s clothing try-on tools, in particular, are set to evolve significantly in 2022, with the company acquiring digital sizing company FitAnalytics back in March. The addition of FitAnlytics tools will enable Snap to provide more accurate size and style matches, which will see more AR clothing applications over time, but Snap has identified these three brands, specifically, as AR innovators for the year.

It’s interesting to consider the evolution of AR, and where it fits in the broader digital engagement space, across various applications and processes. And with AR glasses set to start rolling out to consumers some time in the next 24 months, AR could become a much bigger consideration, for all brands – and as such, it is worth taking note of these trends, and considering how they apply to your future initiatives and promotions, and where opportunity may be.

Really, once functional AR glasses are made available to consumers, adoption will accelerate fast, and you’ll likely need to learn more either way – which is another reason why this trend overview is of value, in planning, insight and consideration.

The options are increasing, both for creation and usage, and Snap’s listing provides some key insight into these trends.

You can check out Snapchat’s full ‘Lens of the Year’ report here.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer: Born or made great?

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The Big 3 have won a total of 56 Grand Slams in their career.

Ecogastronomy, puppet arts, viticulture and enology, influencer marketing, or bakery science. In 2022, you can become anything you want and there are even specialized undergraduate degrees to help you gain all the relevant skills at university. Essentially, you can now be academically trained in any subject and learn practically everything you need to excel at your job.

In the context of sports, and particularly tennis, this is no different. There are plenty of degrees you can pursue to complement your career as an athlete, physiotherapist, or coach with useful knowledge about the human body, anatomy, and health.

This basically means that professional tennis players of the 21st century can complement their extraordinary talent and training routine with a relevant education and an elite team of professional and eminent physiotherapists, coaches, PR, and strategists. Ultimately, players have countless tools that can help them win matches, stay healthy, and be well-liked by the press and the fans.

You can find these ‘A teams’ all around the tour nowadays: players of the former next gen have taken advantage of their early success to incorporate experts on every specialty into their team and others like Carlos Alcaraz or Holger Rune have come directly in the tour alongside first-class teams headed by former World No. 1 and Slam champion Juan Carlos Ferrero and respected coach Patrick Mouratoglou respectively.

Understandably, tennis legends who have been on tour for almost two decades have progressively adapted to the quest for perfection too. You must remember Novak Djokovic’s radical diet change mid-career or Rafael Nadal’s loyal sports doctor for most of his injury-prone career.

21st-century professional tennis players have learned it all as far as tennis skills are concerned. In fact, objectively any top-100 player can produce Djokovesque cross-court backhands or Nadalese down-the-line forehands any time – we have seen rallies of the highest level in practices, Challengers and junior tournaments.

So, one must think that if every player on the tour can produce top-level tennis and is surrounded by the perfect team, what is stopping them from winning 20+ Grand Slam titles like Nadal, Roger Federer, and Djokovic?


Nadal, Federer and Djokovic — the Big 3

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in discussion at the 2022 Laver Cup.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in discussion at the 2022 Laver Cup.

The Big 3 — Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic — are living proof that in life there are things you just can’t learn, despite our self-help books saying otherwise. Tennis is different from other mainstream sports in that it remains an individual and extremely mental sport.

These three players belong at a higher level than anyone else, and it is not only the 63 combined Slam titles that separate them from their opponents. It is clearly not their physical form either, quite the opposite currently. It is the ability to remain serene, focused, confident, and indifferent to the crowd, pressure, and expectations, to play one point at a time, whether it is a break or a championship point, and to extract it from the surrounding context.

Being the best of all time does, however, not imply being the better player in all matches. We don’t have to go far back to find an example of a time when Nadal and Djokovic were the clear underdogs in a match. For instance, in Wimbledon 2022 we saw Nadal win a match with an abdominal tear and an average 80-mph serve speed (on a grasscourt!) against Taylor Fritz, a top American player in his best-ever season.

In essence, the three GOATs have had the ability to know how to win even when they are the worst players on the court, and if that greatness is something we all could learn or train for, it would stop being called so and we would see it more often.

Whether it is the experience, intelligence or just intrinsic and unique talent that has led to Big 3’s unprecedented achievements we won’t ever exactly know and, I am afraid, they are giving no opportunity to the so-called Next Gen to even dream of replicating their record book and help us make sense of what it takes to become a tennis master.

In any case, we can only feel extremely fortunate to have lived on the same timeline as the greatest trivalry in sports history. All of us, but the Next Gen, can only hope Nadal and Djokovic do not follow Federer’s retirement path anytime soon. And one only needs to watch their last matches against each other to (rightfully) assume that might not happen anytime soon.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

Poll : Who will end up with most Grand Slam titles?

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like Elon Musk’s chaotic management approach at Twitter is having some broader impacts, with more companies reportedly considering lay-offs in the wake of Musk culling 70% of Twitter staff (and keeping the app running), and Meta now apparently also considering charging for blue checkmarks in its apps.

Yes, the Twitter Blue approach to making people pay for verification, which hasn’t proven overly popular on Twitter itself, is now also seemingly in consideration at Meta as well.

According to a new finding by reverse engineering pro Alessandro Paluzzi, there’s a new mention in the codebase of both Facebook and Instagram of a ‘paid blue badge’.

Paluzzi also shared a screenshot of the code with TechCrunch:

That does appear to refer to a subscription service for both apps, which could well give you a blue verification badge as a result.

Mets has neither confirmed nor denied the project, but it does seem, at least on the surface, that it’s considering offering checkmarks as another paid option – which still seems strange, considering the original purpose of verification, which is to signify noteworthy people or profiles in the app.

If people can just buy that, then it’s no longer of any value, right?

Evidently, that’s not the case, and with Twitter already bringing in around $7 million per quarter from Twitter Blue subscriptions, maybe Meta’s looking for a means to supplement its own intake, and make up for lost ad dollars and/or rising costs of its metaverse development.

It seems counter-intuitive, but I guess, if people will pay, and the platforms aren’t concerned about there being confusion as to what the blue ticks actually mean.

I guess, more money is good?

Meta has, in the past, said that it won’t charge a subscription fee to access its apps. But this, of course, would be supplemental – users wouldn’t have to pay, but they could buy a blue checkmark if they wanted, and use the implied value of recognition for their own purposes.

Which seems wrong, but tough times, higher costs – maybe every app needs to start digging deeper.

Meta hasn’t provided any info or confirmation at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta’s Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta's Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

YouTube Shorts and Meta’s Reels are both making
headway in the intensely competitive video shorts sector.  

During Alphabet’s Q4 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Sundar Pichai reported that YouTube Shorts has surpassed 50 billion
daily views. That’s up from the 30 billion reported in Q1 2022.

However, it still …



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