Snapchat has announced some new AR features at its Lens Fest 2023 event, where it showcased the latest AR innovations and updates on the platform, as it works to build on its already significant AR presence.

First off, Snapchat has announced Lens Studio 5.0 Beta, the next evolution of its AR creation platform.

Snap Lens Fest 2023

The new Lens Studio will include performance improvements, improved 3D modeling tools, and team collaboration options, providing more ways to develop your Snap AR projects.

Snap’s also adding new AI capabilities in the app:

We teamed up with OpenAI to offer a new ChatGPT Remote API. Now, any Lens developer can leverage ChatGPT in their Lenses, unlocking new types of learning, conversational, and creative experiences for Snapchatters.”

ChatGPT in AR Lenses on Snap? That sounds like a pretty important match, with a range of potentially valuable collaborations that could align new AR experiences with evolving user behaviors.

Snap has already integrated OpenAI elements via its “My AI” chatbot experience, and this new partnership will provide another way for Snap users to experience conversational AI tools within the app.

Snapchat’s also expanding its digital goods creation tools, which will enable more developers to offer exclusive AR features within a Lens, that Snapchatters can then unlock for a fee.

Digital goods are another potential area of opportunity for Snap, with the platform also integrating various fashion brand items into its Bitmoji clothing options, aligning with evolving user behaviors. The hope is that this will enable Snap to feed into the next generation of digital engagement and interaction, with Snap also looking to promote these add-on Lenses within a new section of Lens Explorer, in order to help connect more users with the same.

Snapchat’s also shared some new stats on the growth of Lens Studio, which now hosts over 330,000 AR creators, developers, and teams, all building on Snap’s AR platform.

“They’ve created nearly 3.5 million Lenses, which in the last year have been viewed by Snapchatters more than 3 trillion times.”

Snap also says that it’s seen significant interest in its Lens Creator Rewards program, which offers a monthly reward of up to $7,200 dollars for top-performing Lenses in selected regions. In the first month, more than 45,000 Lenses opted in, generating over 5 billion Lens interactions by Snapchatters. 

It’s been a challenging year for Snap, which has seen the company cut hundreds of jobs, and rationalize its projects, in order to keep its costs in check. That feels like it’s somewhat reflected in a more subdued collection of updates for this year’s Lens Fest, but the big announcement, a new version of Lens Studio, is significant, and could see a lot more AR projects flowing through to the app.

You can check out all the announcements from Lens Fest in the video above, or head to the dedicated website for more.

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